Ellerstina scrape through after scare
Ellerstina survived a second half comeback from Alegria to win 11-10 over seven chukkas in the semi final of the Tortugas open played on the Palermo number two ground in Palermo on Saturday.
With rain forecast for Sunday and the grounds still wet in Tortugas, the games were played in central Buenos Aires in what was technically an unofficial game, but the result of which would still decide the finalists.
In a game of two halves, it was Ellerstina that raced out to an early 6-0 lead, withFacundo Pieres scoring five in the the opening three chukkas. After goals from Facundo and Gonzalo Pieres started the 4th chukka to increase Ellerstina’s lead to eight, Ellerstina looked to be cruising until momentum shifted in the fifth chukka and the comfortable lead was slashed by an insurgent Alegria foursome.
After a first half that saw Alegria commit too many fouls and miss their opportunities in front of goal, it was a run of six consecutive goals for Alegria that cut the deficit to two after the fifth chukker. Ellerstina got away from the tight team performance that was seen in the first half, allowing Alegria to fight their way back into the game.
After Alegria scored to tie the game at 10-10 with two minutes remaining, Ellerstina pressed up field and forced the penalty from close range to hold on for the win.
Facundo Pieres, scoring nine of Ellerstina’s 11 goals for the game, remains the talisman leading. Should Polito Pieres regain some form, Nico Pieres continue to hit passes early and Gonzalo Pieres continue his workmanlike form to free up space. this team could still match La Dolfina.
On the positive side for Alegria; the scoring was shared equally between Sapo Caset (4), Hilario Ulloa (3) and Facundo Sola (3). This may yet prove a positive result for Fred Mannix’s Alegria team as they grow in confidence. When on-song, this team is dangerous and their frustration at conceding the foul to lose the game at the death showed they felt they are contenders.
La Dolfina look dominant
La Dolfina booked their place in the final of the 2017 Tortugas Open with a scintillating display of four-man polo, defeating La Aguada 16-9 on the iconic Palermo number on ground on Saturday.
With rain forecast for Sunday and the Tortugas grounds still wet, both semi-final games were played on Saturday at Palermo.
La Aguada were outclassed by the delicate passing game and defence of La Dolfina, conceding seven goals in the first two chukkas to one of their own, despite creating a number of scoring opportunities and shots at goal that just went wide.
That was the story of the game: La Dolfina finishing their chances with accuracy and La Aguada failing to capitalise on their own opportunities.
Trailing by 10 goals (14-4) after the fifth chukka, La Aguada did well to regain some ground to finish the game with nine goals of their own. Alfredo Bigatti, in for the injured Eduardo Novillo Astrada, did his reputation no harm with an impressive display, finishing with six goals for the game.
The style encouraged by La Dolfina coach Milo Fernandez-Araujo looks dangerous. His players all have the skill to pass long and, they have the 10-goal hand-eye to latch on to 50/50 passes and have the horsepower to accelerate away to score.
Their layoff game looked sharp, with Adolfo Cambiaso regularly changing the direction of the plays and inviting his teammates onto the ball. The horsepower and teamwork of this La Dolfina team will take some stopping. All four La Dolfina players had at least three goals by the completion of the fifth chukka.
Although, La Aguada created opportunities, they were unable to keep up with four 10-goal players who were in a world of their own on route to the 16-9 victory