Power Horse takes 8-7 lead in the first half of a 12-chukker match



 (L to R)-Grant Ganzi, Michael Bickford and Kris Kampsen on the ball in the 2016 Grand Champions Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.  (Photo by Alex Pacheco)
(L to R)-Grant Ganzi, Michael Bickford (black jersey #2) and Kris Kampsen on the ball in the 2016 Grand Champions Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington. (Photo by Alex Pacheco)

Power Horse (Walter Scherb, Michael Bickford, Agustin Merlos and Nic Roldan) took a narrow 8-7 lead over Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Sebastian Merlos and Kris Kampsen) after the first day of the 20-goal Grand Champions Cup Friday afternoon at the Grand Champions Polo Club.

The Grand Champions Cup is designed to be played in two parts with the two teams playing for six chukkers on Friday and then carrying the score from Friday’s game into Sunday where they will play another six chukkers in a continuation 12-chukker game with the scores being combined for the total.

Power Horse took the early lead on the strength of three straight goals from American 8-goaler Nic Roldan, 3-0. Sebastian Merlos scored the final goal of the chukker for Casablanca, but Power Horse took the early control of the game, 3-1.

Neither offense was able to put a point on the scoreboard in the second chukker despite shots on goal that were just off the mark. Power Horse continued to defend the two goal advantage, 3-1.

Both defenses tightened in third chukker action as they carried the ball up and down the field. A goal from Grant Ganzi marked the only goal in the chukker with 2:52 left to play.  Power Horse was unable to score in the period but continued to lead, 3-2 at the end of the first half.

Juancito Bollini opened the second half with a goal from the field that tied the game at 3-3, and teammate Kris Kampsen gave Casablanca their first lead of the game with a follow-up goal at the 5:52 mark. Power Horse’s Walter Scherb tied the game at 4-4 with his first score of the game and with just five seconds on the clock, Agustin “Tincho” Merlos took the lead back for Power Horse, 5-4.

Ganzi leveled eh score at 5-5 on a pass from Sebastian Merlos that made it 5-5 and teammate Bollini gave Casablanca the lead again, 6-5. Goals from Agustin Merlos and Michael Bickford ended the scoring in the fifth period with Power Horse in front, 7-6.

Play was measured in the sixth and final chukker with neither team anxious to make a game-ending mistake. With 3:13 left in the period Kampsen scored to level the score at seven goals apiece.  A final push by Power Horse saw Agustin Merlos carry the ball through the Casablanca defenders to score the winning goal, 8-7.

A balanced Power Horse attack had Roldan and Agustin Merlos with three goals each. Singe goals were added by Scherb and Bickford for the lead.  The Casablanca effort came up short with Ganzi, Bollini and Kampsen scoring two goals each.  Sebastian Merlos added a goal but Power Horse would take the field for the continuation six chukkers at 10am on Sunday morning at the Grand Champions Polo Club.

The Grand Champions Polo Club is located at 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414. The matches are free of charge and the public is invited to attend.  The Grand Champions Polo Hotline is 561-373-0073.