t is the final countdown for the Hurlingham Open, the second leg of the Argentine Triple Crown, as semifinal matches are due through Saturday October 30 and Sunday October 31, at the Hurlingham Club.
The tournament sees eight teams up to 39 goals, split in two leagues, compete.
The first semifinal, on Saturday, will provide some significant changes within team lineups. Title holders, Ellerstina, will battle RS Murus Sanctus for the first ticket to the championship match. RS Murus Sanctus will present their complete foursome, with Pablo MacDonough’s comeback after recovering from a torn muscle. On Ellerstina’s side, there’s a comeback and an absence – Hilario Ulloa will be back on the saddle since he got injured during the first match of the Tortugas Open, while Alfredo Cappella will fill in for Nicolás Pieres, who suffered a heavy fall during last week’s match against La Dolfina Brava. A fact – Cappella will play against the team with whom he has played the Triple Crown in 2020.
Nico spoke to PoloLine with regards on this matter: “I’m better, improving more and more everyday. I had a magnetic resonance done, and today (Friday) I am going to the doctor again; but I am doing very well, indeed. Alfre Cappella will sub in for me in the remaining matches of the Hurlingham Open; I have no rush at all, because my aim is to make it to Palermo fully recovery; let my body rest a few more days in order to be completely fit”.
When asked about a magnificient replacement, such as Alfredo Cappella is, currently renowned as one of the best backs worldwide, he said: “We chose Alfre because we thought he fits within the team. He is not playing nor the Qualification neither the Triple Crown, so the idea is to have him as a substitute for Palermo, perhaps”.
Ellerstina and RS Murus Sanctus will will go head-to-head on Saturday October 30 at 4,30pm for the first spot in the final. The winners’ rival will emerge on Sunday October 31, following another thrilling semifinal, the clash of the Cañuelas-based teams, La Dolfina Saudi vs. La Natividad.
HURLINGHAM OPEN – SEMIFINAL #1 – SATURDAY OCTOBER 30
ELLERSTINA vs. RS MURUS SANCTUS
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10, Hilario Ulloa 10, Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9, Alfredo Cappella8. Total: 37.
RS Murus Sanctus: Facundo Sola 9, Guillermo Caset 10, Pablo Mac Donough 10, Juan M. Nero 10. Total: 39.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero &Gonzalo López Vargas.
Third Man: Martín Pascual.
- LA DOLFINA BRAVA and LA ENSENADA VICTORIOUS IN LAST LEAGUE GAMES
Meanwhile, La Dolfina Brava and La Ensenada claimed wins in their respective last league games, played on Friday October 29 at the Argentine Association of Polo, in Pilar. Indeed, these were very significant wins for both teams, as they earned some crucial points to qualify to the 2022 Triple Crown.
In the first match, La Dolfina Brava continued on the winning path, following a 13-11 victory against La Irenita. Up next, La Ensenada defeated Alegria 14-7, in a match that was decided in the second half, when the young La Ensenada foursome outscored Alegria 7-1.
HURLINGHAM OPEN – LAST LEAGUE GAMES – FRIDAY OCTOBER 29
- LA DOLFINA BRAVA 13-11 LA IRENITA
La Dolfina Brava.: Guillermo Terrera 9 (1 goal), Adolfo Cambiaso Jr. 8 (6, 4 penalties), Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade 8 (2), Alejo Taranco 8 (4, 1 penalty). Total: 33.
La Irenita: Santiago Loza 8 (1 goal), Segundo Bocchino 7 (2), Ignacio Toccalino 8 (1), Isidro Strada 8 (7 penalties). Total: 31.
Score La Dolfina Brava: 3-2, 4-3, 5-6, 7-8, 11-9, 13-10, 13-11.
Umpires: Federico Martelli & Martín Aguerre.
Third Man: Matías Baibiene.
- LA ENSENADA 14-7 ALEGRIA
La Ensenada: Juan Britos 9 (5, 1 penalty), Alfredo Bigatti 8 (1, received a yellow card in the fifth chukka), Juan Martín Zubía 8 (5), Jerónimo del Carril 8 (3). Total: 33.
Alegría: Agustín Merlos 7 (1 goal), Pedro Zacharías 7 (6, 5 penalties ), Tomás García del Río 7, Fred Mannix 7. Total: 28.
Score La Ensenada: 3-1, 5-4, 7-5, 7-6, 8-7, 11-7, 14-7.
Umpires: Matías Baibiene y Rafael Silva.
Third Man: Martín Aguerre.
The final of the Hurlingham Open is set for Saturday, November 6.