The final of the 2018 C.V. Whitney Cup saw Valiente defeat Colorado 9-4 to capture the first 26-goal tournament victory of the season in front of a full grandstand at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
An exceptional defensive performance from Valiente provided the foundation for their victory as Colorado was unable to open up the game and play to their strengths of running to goal. In their second game together, the elite back line of 10-goalers Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres displayed a good chemistry that saw them use effective backhands and lay-offs to generate their attacks. The combined defensive effort from Valiente, along with converting their offensive chances at a high rate resulted in a convincing 9-4 victory as Robert Jornayvaz got the better of father Bob Jornayvaz in the opening 26-goal tournament of the season.
Early in the game, Valiente controlled possession with Facundo Pieres building on his ten-goal performance from his previous game by scoring two goals in the opening chukka, giving Valiente a 2-0 lead. While Colorado’s Diego Cavanagh also had ten goals in his opening game, he struggled to find open space as he was constantly pressured by Tommy Beresford and the duo of 10-goalers. Valiente extended their lead in the second chukka as Robert Jornayvaz converted a neck shot in front of goal, while Colorado was unable to register a shot on goal. A second missed penalty attempt from Cavanagh kept Valiente off the scoreboard, with the Valiente defense continuing to stifle any Colorado attack. A goal each from Cambiaso and Pieres pushed Valiente’s lead to 5-0 by the end of the half, with Colorado left searching for answers to push past the organized Valiente defence.
Behind better performances on their set plays, Colorado was able to score their first two goals of the game in the fourth chukka, both coming off the mallet of Cavanagh. With Valiente’s Cambiaso and Pieres continuing to control possession, Colorado struggled to mount a comeback as just two combined fouls in the second half, left the ball in open play. A strong fifth chukka from Valiente saw them outshoot Colorado 5-2 and further extend their lead to five as Cambiaso scored his second and third goals of the game. The large five goal advantage all but sealed the victory with just one chukka remaining as Valiente maintained that advantage to finish with the 9-4 victory, claiming the 2018 C.V. Whitney Cup.
Earlier in the day, The Daily Racing Form- DRF Bets defeated Grand Champions Polo Club 11-9 in the subsidiary final, behind an eight-goal performance from Hilario Ulloa. Grand Champions Polo Club raced out to an 8-5 lead in the first half with Nic Roldan providing five of his team’s eight goals. Aside from an impressive goal from Alejandro Novillo Astrada that was scored directly from the halfway line on a penalty 5B following a penalty 1, Grand Champions Polo Club struggled to generate offense in the second half as Mariano Obregon played exceptional defence throughout the game, along with increased on ball pressure from Agustin Obregon and Jared Zenni. With a tied 9-9 score heading into the final chukka, it was a final goal from Ulloa that sealed the victory for The Daily Racing Form-DRF Bets in a fast, paced closely matched game.