The 130th. Argentine Open resumed on Wednesday November 1, at the Argentine Association of Polo Headquarters in Pilar. The first match saw Ellerstina against El Overo Z7 UAE, the latter emerging from the qualification and perhaps the most awaited debut of the season. The team has the support of Sheikha Maitha’s organisation and it is their first time ever competing in the Open, with a lineup that includes three young and talented boys who made their absolute debut in the world’s most important tournament: Lukin Monteverde, Cruz Heguy and Teo Lacau. Moreover, it marked the comeback to the Open of the Heguy family through Cruz, the son of the legendary Ruso, one of the best backs in the history of the sport, and a four times winner of the Argentine Open with Indios Chapaleufu II.
Ellerstina’s Nachi du Plessis opened the scores, followed by another goal by Nico Pieres to give Ellerstina a 2-0 lead in a very dynamic first chukka, that ended with a goal produced by Cruz Heguy for El Overo Z7 UAE. La Z widened their advantage to 4-1 in the second chukka, with goals courtesy of Bautista Bayugar and Nico Pieres; Ellerstina’s dominance, based on a very good team play, with each member in their positions, continued in the next two chukkas; by half time, Ellerstina was 10-3 ahead.
But in the second half, El Overo Z7 UAE took off – they outscored Ellerstina 3-1 in the fifth chukka; however, Ellerstina displayed their experience against an opponent that never gave up. El Overo Z7 UAE presented a tough battle to Ellerstina who, at the end of the day, claimed a 15-11 win. It is worth to notice that, in addition to El Overo Z7 UAE’s remarkable debut, Cruz Heguy scored ten of the eleven goals for his team. Teo Lacau produced a single goal.
La Ensenada and La Irenita Clinova closed the second day of the Open, a match that was played in poor weather conditions – frozen cold and wind. Although the contest had a leveled start, La Ensenada seized the reins from the second chukka onwards, with an extraordinary team play, and very accurate in both defense and attack, with Alfredo Bigatti playing at his highest and Juan Britos converting the penalties. La Ensenada dominated the whole match; by half time they had a 9-4 lead.
Meanwhile, La Irenita Clinova seemed completely overwhelmed by La Ensenada who swept them fiercely in the second half. The four members fitted to perfection and the lethal combination stopped La Irenita Clinova’s every attempt to get closer in the score. By the sixth chukka, La Ensenada, who had an impressive 17-5 advantage, had almost the deal said and done, so they slowed down in the two last chukkas, and scored four more to secure the 21-8 win, in one of the best games this team has ever played since they landed in the Triple Crown back in 2018.
130th. ARGENTINE OPEN – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 1
MATCH#1 – ELLERSTINA 15-11 EL OVERO Z7 UAE
Ellerstina: Bautista Bayugar 8 (4 goals, two penalties), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9 (4, three penalties), Nicolás Pieres 9 (5), Ignatius du Plessis 9 (2). Total: 35.
El Overo Z7 UAE: Lucas Monteverde 7, Victorino Ruiz Jorba 7, Cruz Heguy 7 (10 goals, seven penalties), Teodoro Lacau 7 (1). Total: 28.
Score Ellerstina: 2-1, 4-1, 8-1, 10-3, 11-6, 12-7, 14-8, 15-11.
Umpires: Matías Baibiene & Rafael Silva. Third man: Hernán Tasso.
MATCH #2: LA ENSENADA 21-8 LA IRENITA CLINOVA
La Ensenada: Juan Britos 9 (9 goals, four penalties, one Penalty 1), Alfredo Bigatti 9 (5), Juan M. Zubía 9 (2), Jerónimo del Carril 8 (5). Total: 35.
La Irenita Clinova: Facundo Fernández Llorente 8 (2 goals), Tomás Fernández Llorente Jr. 8 (3, one penalty), Matías Torres Zavaleta 8, Isidro Strada 8 (3, one penalty). Total: 32.
Score La Ensenada: 2-1, 5-2, 7-3, 10-4, 13-5, 17-5, 20-6, 21-8.
Umpires: Gastón Lucero & Martín Aguerre. Third man: José Ignacio Araya.
The 130th. Argentine Open will resume on Saturday, with the return to Palermo.
Cover photo by Matias Callejo / Prensa AAP.