All the News from Across the Atlantic
After many weather-related delays, the Joe Barry Memorial Cup Final was played on Friday 5 February between Palm Beach Illustrated/ Technogym and Villa del Lago. This was the second meeting of these two teams in the tournament and the result was just as close as last time. This time Palm Beach came out on top, reversing the one goal advantage to their favour to take the trophy with a breathtaking, last six seconds goal from Nacho Badiola. Despite Argentine superstar Hilario Ulloa’s best efforts, which saw him score 11 of his team’s 13 goals, Villa del Lago couldn’t quite hold on to their impressive 12-7 lead at the beginning of the fifth. The comeback from Palm Beach had audiences watching on with bated breath, but it was the final chukka which really had the hearts racing, Ulloa equalising the game at 13-13 with just 30 seconds left on the clock. It looked like Villa del Lago would be able to salvage the match, but Jesse Bray swooped in before the white shirts could stop him, stealing the ball and sending a huge open backhand up to teammate Obregon who, quick as a flash, sent the ball whizzing up to the waiting Badiola, before running interference to give his teammate the best chance possible of winging the ball through the posts, with just six seconds left on the clock. The audience, and Badiola, breathed a huge sigh of relief as the final bell went with Palm Beach victorious with 14 goals to Villa del Lago’s 13. Facundo Obregon was awarded the Most Valuable Player prize, while Hilario Ulloa’s mount, Noble, won Best Playing Pony.
The Joe Barry Memorial Cup Final teams:
Palm Beach Illustrated/ Technogym (20): Nacho Badiola (6), Jared Zenni (3), Facundo Obregon (6) & Jesse Bray (5)
Villa del Lago (20): Jim Zenni (0), Agustin Obregon (5), Hilario Ulloa (9) & Gringo Colombres (6)
Result: Palm Beach Illustrated/ Technogym beat Villa del Lago, 14-13
Photograph: Hilario Ulloa and Best Playing Pony Noble. By Alex Pacheco