The Conclusion of the First Tournament of the Dominican Republic Polo Challenge
It was no surprise to any of the people following this exciting tournament closely to see the two stand-out leaders of the pack go head to head in the Final of the Polo Challenge Bronze Cup. Each sporting their very own La Dolfina 10 goaler, Agualinda and Lechuza Caracas breezed through the opening rounds to arrive at the Semi Finals. Even these matches, which saw the two eventual finalists pitted against the strong sides of Los Semanes and Power Infrastructure, posed no problem to the power teams. Firstly Agualinda defeated Los Semanes easily, with a final score of 10-7 before Power Infrastructure took their turn, losing to Lechuza Caracas 12-6.
So it was to be a power struggle between Lechuza’s Juan Martín Nero and the Uruguayan golden boy David ‘Pelon’ Stirling and it was Victor Vargas’ Lechuza side who came out on top after a tough and low scoring Final. The family and teammate ties might suggest an amicable game but the competition was fierce and familial relationships were left outside the field as the two teams struggled to get scores on the board. With a few stops for injuries, the flow of the match was slightly halting, but the play none-the-less impressive for it, as the 10 goalers did battle, backed up by their teammates. It was Pelon Stirling who made the most impact on the score line, racking up a hat-trick and being awarded the Most Valuable Player award as a result. The lowest scoring match of the tournament, hopefully the Final of the Bronze Cup will not set the tone for the up-coming Silver and Gold Cups that make up this exciting new high goal season in the Dominican Republic
Earlier in the day Pitirre-Potranca defeated home team Casa de Campo 12-11 in the Subsidiary Final in a nail-biting match that ran on in to a seventh chukka thanks to Bensadon’s last second goal but they could not keep it up and it was Pitirre-Potranca’s Rodrigo Rueda who scored the golden, winning goal.
The Polo Challenge Bronze Cup Final teams:
Lechuza Caracas (22): Víctor Vargas (1), Juan Jauretche (5), Gerardo Collarden (6) & Juan Martin Nero (10),
Agualinda (22): Alfredo Vargas (1), José Donoso (5), Gastón Lisioli (6) & David Stirling Jr (10)
Result: Lechuza Caracas beat Agualinda, 6-5
Most Valuable Player: David ‘Pelon’ Stirling
Photograph: Lechuza Caracas raise the Bronze Cup high after victory in the Dominican Republic. By Matias Callejo