Polo was the word of the day in at the International Polo Club in Wellington, as it usually is, but on Saturday, four games were played in the final 20-goal game of the season.
Las Monjitas closed out a long day of polo with an 8-6 win over Mt. Brilliant in the 20-goal, 2010 Herbie Pennell Cup at the International Polo Club in Wellington.
In a contest that started slowly, Mt. Brilliant took an early 2-1 lead on goals from Diego Arellano and Chris Nevins, but goals from Pablo Pieres and Martin Donovan had it all even at halftime at 3-3.
Both teams mounted long drives up and down the field but failed to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities.
Las Monjitas got consecutive penalty goals from Pieres and Javier Astrada before Mt. Brilliant’s Francisco Irastorza tied it at 5-5 with two straight goals.
Donovan and Astrada each scored single goals to move Las Monjitas ahead 7-5 at the end of the fifth chukker as Mt. Brilliant tried to mount a sixth chukker rally.
Chris Nevins scored his second goal of the game to cut the Las Monjitas lead to a single goal, 7-6, but Donovan closed the door on Mt. Brilliant as he followed up a run at goal by Pieres, tapping the ball through for the 8-6 winning score.
LECHUZA CARACAS 13, FARAWAY 11
In a game played at the Lechuza field, the home team handed Faraway (1-1) its first loss in the Herbie Pennell Cup in a back and forth match that wasn’t decided until the last couple of minutes of the game.
Faraway Polo took an early 3-2 lead after the first chukker, and led 5-4 after the second before Lechuza got its attack on track.
Francisco Bilbao scored three times in the third chukker, and teammate Gaston Lisioli converted his second penalty goal of the day to give Lechuza an 8-7 halftime lead. Faraway was held to single goals from Julio Arellano and Pelon Escapite as the first half came to an end.
The score would be tied three more times in the second half before consecutive goals from Lisioli and Lechuza team captain Victor Vargas had Lechuza out in front by two goals, 12-10. Bilbao’s sixth goal of the game made it 13-10 before a last minute goal from Arellano ended the scoring with Lechuza celebrating the 13-11 win.
Bilbao’s six goals set the pace for the Lechuza team, with Lisioli adding five goals in the win. Guille Aguero and Vargas added single goals in the team effort.
Julio Arellano scored three of his team-high six goals on penalty shots. Julian Daniels added three goals from the field and Pelon Escapite chipped in two goals in the Faraway effort.
ZACARA 11, EFG BANK 7
Playing without team captain Jim Whisenand, the EFG Bank team fell 11-7 to a powerful Zacara team that led by as many eight goals in a Pennell Cup contest.
Zacara’s Jeff Hall opened the scoring for Zacara but was countered by a goal from Pancho Bensadon in a sedate first chukker that ended in a 1-1 tie. From then on, it was all Zacara.
Zacara scored eight straight goals over the course of the next four goals, while holding EFG Bank scoreless, for a 9-1 lead.
“Our horses were cooked,” offered EFG Bank 7-goaler Luis Escobar. “We’d been playing three games a week for the last couple of months,” he said, “and we just didn’t have the legs to compete today.”
EFG Bank did stage a late rally that gave them six goals in the final two chukkers of the game, but it was clear that Zacara ruled the turf today as the final horn sounded in the 13-11 Zacara win.
Hall led all scoring with six goals. Marianno Gracida and Gonzalo del Tour added two goals apiece and Toto Collardin chipped in a goal from the field for the winning Zacara team.
Escobar scored four times for EFG Bank. Teammates John Muse, Andres Weisz and Pancho Bensadon added single goals in the loss.
EQUULEUS 11, AUDI 10
In a game that could have gone either way, Equuleus outlasted Audi, 11-10 with Argentine 7-goaler Mariano Gonzalez leading the field with six goals.
Equuleus took a 3-2 lead after the opening chukker, but could do little to spread the lead as Audi continued to match them nearly goal for goal.
Equuleus led 4-3 after the second chukker and 5-4 after the third as Audi refused to give up. Equuleus held a 7-6 advantage after the fourth period and managed to extend that to 9-7 after the fifth as Audi struggled to find its offense. Carlucho Arellano’s second goal of the game had Equuleus out in front 10-7 to open the final chukker of play before Audi got back on line.
Consecutive goals from Marc Ganzi, Nacho Figueras and Kris Kampsen had it all even at 10-10 with just a couple of minutes left to play in regulation time.
Adam Snow finally gave Equuleus the go ahead goal with less than a minute left to play, and in spite of a last attempt to rally the Audi team, it would be Equuleus who would take the contest, 11-10.
High goal action continues on Sunday afternoon at the International Polo Club with two games in the opening round of the 26-goal, 2010 C. V. Whitney Cup. At noon, Crab Orchard will meet Las Monjitas followed by a 3 pm contest between Pony Express and Valiente.