Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Tim Dutta, Juan Bollini and Tom de Bruin) and Grand Champions (Gene Goldstein, Juancito Bollini, Lucas Lalor and JJ Celis) battled to a 9-9 tie before an overtime goal from South African 7-goaler Tom de Bruin carried Flexjet to a 10-9 win and a berth in Sunday’s Memorial Cup final that will be played at 1pm on the stadium field at the International Polo Club.
J.J. Celis scored the first goal of the game for a 1-1 tie (Flexjet received one goal by handicap from the 13-goal Grand Champions roster. Flexjet team captain Melissa Ganzi added two more goals to put Flexjet on top, 3-1 after the opening chukker.
The second period belonged to Grand Champions as shutout defense kept them off of the scoreboard while Celis added two more goals from the field. At the end of the second chukker the score was all even at 3-3.
The Grand Champions attack continued to roll in the third as Celis scored his fourth goal of the day on a well-executed neck-shot and gave Champions their first lead of the game, 4-3. Teammate Lucas Lalor scored his first goal of the day for a 5-3 halftime lead that was complimented by a second consecutive chukker of shutout defense.
Flexjet regrouped at halftime and gave Grand Champions a whole new look in the fourth chukker. An opening goal from de Bruin cut the Grand Champions lead to a single goal. Melissa Ganzi added her third goal of the day to tie it at 5-5. Juan Bollini converted a 60-yard penalty shot with four minutes on the clock in what proved to be the final goal of the chukker as Flexjet moved into the lead, 6-5.
Grand Champions fought their way back into the game in the fifth. A goal from Celis tied the game at 6-6 and a second goal from the field from Lalor put Grand Champions back into the lead, 7-6. Melissa Ganzi leveled the score at 7-7 with the closing goal.
Juan Bollini scored the first goal of the sixth chukker for an 8-7 advantage, but Juancito Bollini countered with a goal of his own to level the score at 8-8. Gene Goldstein scored to give Grand Champions the advantage, 9-8, but Juan Bollini kept the Flexjet team alive with a tying goal in the final seconds of the chukker. The 9-9 tie forced a sudden-death overtime chukker.
Flexjet had an advantageous field position but lost possession on the opening throw-in ad Grand Champions raced toward the Flexjet goal. The ball changed directions for the next couple of minutes before de Bruin broke through an opening in the Grand Champions defense to score the winning goal, 10-9.
Melissa Ganzi led the Flexjet attack with four goals. Juan Bollini added three goals; de Bruin scored twice and the team received one goal by handicap for the win. Celis scored a game high five goals for Grand Champions. Lalor added two goals with Juancito Bollini and Goldstein each scoring once in a losing effort.
Dutta Corp. 11, Postage Stamp Farm 6
In the second Memorial Cup match of the day Timmy Dutta scored six times in leading Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Marc Ganzi, Lucas Diaz Alberdi and Kris Kampsen) to an 11-6 win over Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Grant Ganzi, Brandon Phillips and Jason Crowder) at the Grand Champions Polo Club.
Annabelle Gundlach scored the first goal of the day to tie the game at 1-1 (Dutta Corp. received one goal by handicap from the 12-goal Postage Stamp Farm lineup). Timmy Dutta responded with a 30-yard penalty conversion to retake the lead, 2-1. Gundlach scored again with 1:28 on the clock for a 2-2 tie and Grant Ganzi put Postage Stamp Farm into the lead, 3-2, with the final goal of the chukker.
Dutta Corp. controlled the second chukker, getting a pair of goals from Dutta and a single goal from Grant Ganzi. Postage Stamp Farm was unable to score and fell behind, 5-3.
Grant Ganzi scored on a 30-yard penalty conversion to open the scoring in the third and Gundlach added her third goal of the game to tie the game at 5-5. Dutta closed out the chukker with a goal with 1:04 left in the first half to give a narrow lead to Dutta Corp., 6-5.
Dutta Corp. continued to roll into the second half, picking up goals from Dutta and Kris Kampsen while shutting down the Postage Stamp Farm attack. With two periods left in regulation play, Dutta Corp. led, 8-5.
Fifth chukker goals from Marc Ganzi (penalty conversion) and Lucas Diaz Alberdi were complimented by a solid defensive effort that held Postage Stamp Farm without a score for the second consecutive chukker. The Dutta Corp. would be riding into the final period of regulation play with a comfortable five goal lead, 10-5.
Brandon Phillips showed a spark of life from the Postage Stamp Farm lineup by taking control of the opening throw-in and racing down the field to score with just 16 seconds off of the clock, but that would be the last whisper of a rally. The two teams played defensively through most of the balance of the chukker with Dutta scoring his sixth goal of the match at the 2:24 mark for the 11-6 victory and a spot in the tournament final.
Dutta led all scoring with six goals. Marc Ganzi scored twice and Alberdi and Kampsen each added a goal. Dutta Corp. also received one goal by handicap. Gundlach’s three goals led the Postage Stamp Farm attack. Grant Ganzi scored twice and Phillips was credited with a goal in the loss.
The final of The Memorial will be played at 1pm on Sunday, May 29th on the stadium field of the International Polo Club. A 3pm subsidiary for the Grand Champions Cup will follow. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the stadium for both games.
Memorial Kidz Polo Tournament.
On Monday, May 30th the action will return to the Grand Champions Polo Club for a 10am Memorial Kidz Polo Tournament.
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.