An action-packed third day of play in the 2019 Hurlingham Open featured four games after rain postponed play earlier in the week. Ellerstina defeated La Aguada 8-5 to open play, while Las Monjitas captured the 19-13 victory over La Ensenada. The second half of the day saw a controlled 11-4 win for La Dolfina against Cria Yatay, while La Albertina/Abu Dhabi narrowly defeated La Dolfina Polo Ranch 11-9 in an exciting conclusion to the day at Pilar.
A low-scoring affair between Ellerstina and La Aguada played into the strategy of the latter, as they slowed the pace of play and prevented breakaway runs for Ellerstina. Limiting the potent Ellerstina offense to just eight goals, La Aguada forced shots from distance but were unable to capitalize on chances of their own. Lucas Diaz Alberdi opened the scoring to give La Aguada the 1-0 lead in the opening chukka, which proved to be their only offense in the opening half as they were held scoreless in the second, third and fourth chukkas. Despite converting just 3 of their 14 shot attempts in the first half, Ellerstina held the 4-1 lead behind two goals from Nico Pieres.
Ellerstina took control of the game to begin the second half, scoring three unanswered goals thanks to the efforts of Polito Pieres, who scored two goals and added an assist in the fifth chukka to extend the lead to six. La Aguada struggled to generate good scoring opportunities with Nico and Facundo Pieres effectively manning the back of the game. Three late goals from La Aguada were not enough to mount a comeback as Ellerstina claimed the 8-5 victory.
The second match of the day provided some intrigue for spectators as La Ensenada gave Las Monjitas everything they had, challenging their opponents into the final stages of the game despite the eight-goal handicap difference. Efficient 62% shooting from the field and perfect 5 for 5 shooting from the penalty line kept La Ensenada within reach, but Las Monjitas’ Sapo Caset finished a perfect 8 for 8 from the penalty line to lead Las Monjitas to victory.
The two teams traded goals over the first two chukkas, tied at 5-5 with Juan Martin Zubia and Caset scoring three goals each for their respective teams. The Las Monjitas offense exploded for nine goals over the third and fourth chukkas, due to foul trouble for La Ensenada resulting in six penalty conversions for Caset to give Las Monjitas the 14-8 lead. La Ensenada stormed back with four consecutive goals to begin the second half to stun the Las Monjitas defence and bring the deficit to just two goals. Facundo Fernandez Llorente was crucial during the run with three straight field goals as the excitement rose around the field. Las Monjitas quickly responded in the final two chukkas by increasing their defensive focus and using two impressive goals from Hilario Ulloa in the final chukka to seal the 19-13 victory.
The third game began with the dominance of La Dolfina allowing them to quickly create a large lead which was effectively maintained and increased throughout the match. Early foul trouble caused problems for Cria Yatay as they committed four fouls in the opening chukka compared to just two for the remainder of the game. Opening up a 4-1 lead, La Dolfina produced another dominant defensive performance and prevented Cria Yatay from stringing together enough runs to challenge the 40-goal side. Led by three goals from Adolfo Cambiaso in the first half, La Dolfina held a 7-2 lead, limiting Cria Yatay to just two goals on five shots.
The second half saw a controlled La Dolfina team manage their lead, with Cambiaso utilizing his accurate passing to set up Juan Martin Nero and David Stirling on multiple occasions.
Magoo Laprida and Lerin Zubiaurre produced two goals each for Cria Yatay, but they were unable to match the La Dolfina accuracy, shooting just 36% from the field in the 11-4 defeat.
The final game of the day proved to be the most exciting, with La Albertina/Abu Dhabi and La Dolfina Polo Ranch battling into the final minutes. Holding the possession advantage in the game, La Dolfina Polo Ranch had their opportunities to claim victory, but their inaccuracy from the field and the penalty line, especially in the second half allowed La Albertina/Abu Dhabi to capture the victory. Neither team was able to take control of the game in the first half, as Francisco Elizalde and Diego Cavanagh traded goals. Scoring four of his team’s five goals in the first half, Cavanagh was the catalyst for La Albertina/Abu Dhabi but the score remained tied at 5-5 entering the second half.
Despite being held without a shot over the fourth and fifth chukkas, La Albertina/Abu Dhabi kept pace with La Dolfina Polo Ranch thanks to two penalty conversions from Alfredo Cappella. Continuing to attack goal, La Dolfina Polo Ranch fought to take control of the game but converted just two of their nine shot attempts in the second half, while also missing three penalty shots. La Albertina/Abu Dhabi took advantage in the final chukka, scoring four goals in quick succession, led by Cappella and Agustin Merlos who were seemingly everywhere in the final minutes to lead their team to the thrilling 11-9 victory.