The Villages Insurance had to wait a little longer than anticipated to seize victory in the Arden’s Fine Jewelers 6/8-Goal Pro Pool Cup.
With Sunday’s scheduled match postponed due to rain, the squad donning white-and-green had to come back and give it another go Wednesday.
And that ultimately didn’t dampen its celebration one bit.
Insurance rolled with the flow and came through in the rescheduled match, as it scooted past Fross & Fross in a 9-8 decision at The Villages Polo Club.
Hunter Jelsch led the way with five goals for the day — after tallying a mark on the scoresheet twice in preliminary action last Friday — to help Insurance capture the extended weekend event victory.
“It was a lot of fun out there today,” Jelsch said. “All eight players out there Friday and again today — they’re quality players and people. It’s fun to play polo with people who are dedicated and talented, and that made for a really good day.”
After starting with a one-goal advantage due to an uneven player handicap, Fross & Fross added two tallies in the opening chukker of play to take an early 3-0 advantage.
Jelsch and teammates Lord Lyall and Sue Doyle pulled Insurance back into it with a strong finish to the first half, combining for six goals over two chukkers — rallying for a 6-5 lead headed into the divot-stomping intermission.
Fross & Fross brought the match all square at 6-6 with a marker in the fourth chukker, before three more Insurance shots found the sweet spot between the pipes in a frantic fifth — two of which came off strong rushes following a throw-in.
“Polo is a game of runs,” Jelsch said. “It’s almost kind of like basketball in that if you start getting hot and your team gets hot, you can start putting up a lot of goals really quickly. If you’re winning those throw-ins, it’s a big way to keep your momentum going and really deflate the other team.”
A comeback attempt by Fross & Fross fell just short, with Nick Johnson bringing the final margin down to a goal as time expired in regulation.
The match capped the second of eight consecutive weeks of play amid the 2020 fall season at The Villages Polo Club.
To attend a future match at the club, prospective spectators must secure tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased by calling 352-753-3229, online at tickets.thevillages.com or by visiting any Villages Box Office location.
*The Villages Insurance rider Sue Doyle, right, follows her hit upfield with Fross & Fross rider Charly Quincoces in the fourth chukker Wednesday at The Villages Polo Club. The Villages Insurance defeated Fross & Fross 9-8.
Michael Johnson, Daily Sun