Julio Ezcurra scored five goals in lifting Smithfield (Craig Callen, Shamir Quraeshi, Julio Ezcurra and John Klopp) to a 7-6 win over Grand Champions (Will Jacobs, Tato Bollini, Grant Ganzi and Juancito Bollini) in Saturday’s final of the 2016 Halo Polo Trophy at the Grand Champions Polo Club.
Grand Champions team received two goals by handicap from the 5-goal Smithfield lineup, and added to it with Juancito Bollini scoring the first goal of the day from the field. Smithfield responded with a pair of goals from Julio Ezcurra but the lead belonged to Grand Champions, 3-2.
Will Jacobs put Grand Champions on top, 4-2, in second chukker action with s first goal of the day. Smithfield fought back with goals from Shamir Quraeshi and Ezcurra, ending the first half all even at 4-4.
A defensive third chukker saw Smithfield hold Grand Champions scoreless while Ezcurra tallied his fourth goal of the day. After three periods of play it was Smithfield with a delicate 5-4 advantage.
Ezcurra opened the fourth and final chukker with a goal from the field for his fifth goal of the day, putting Smithfield in front by two goals, 6-4. Grand Champions continued to pressure the Smithfield defense in the final minutes of the game. Smithfield fouls sent Jacobs to the penalty line where he converted a 30-yard shot for a goal followed by a 40-yard conversion of a penalty shot by Juancito Bollini that tied the game at 6-6, forcing a sudden-death overtime chukker.
Both teams were keyed up for the final chukker, but it was Smithfield’s Quraeshi who scored the winning goal in the 7-6 overtime victory for Smithfield.
Ezcurra led all scoring with five goals and earned MVP honors for his efforts. His 8-year-ikd Dark Bay mare, Pepper, was named Best Playing Pony.