It was payback time for Ayala (Iñigo Zobel, Peque Gonzalez, Facundo Pieres and Santiago Laborde) on Monday in the opening game of the 2017 Spanish Gold Cup at the Santa Maria Polo Club as they hammered Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai polo team (Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent, Pablo MacDonough and Hugo Lewis) 15-9.
Dubai rode onto the field as the defending champion, having defeated Ayala in last year’s final, 12-7, but this year it was different. Behind the hard driving, long hitting play of Argentine 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, the day belonged to Ayala, as they took control of the game from the opening throw-in.
La Indiana 17, Dos Lunas 12
Tuesday witnessed the re-emergence of Michael Bickford’s injury-riddled La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Juan Martin Zavaleta, Tincho Merlos and Byron Watson) as they finally got on track to record a17-13 win over Maserati Silver Cup finalist, Dos Lunas (James Fewster, Paul S. de Vicuña, Facundo Sola and Martin Podesta).
With American 8-goaler Nic Roldan relegated to the sidelines (broken leg), Tincho Merlos finally returned to the lineup with Juan Martin Zavaleta at his side.
After falling behind 4-0 in the opening period La Indiana rallied for six goals over the course of the second and third chukkers. Dos Lunas added four more goals, however, and led 8-6 at the end of the first half.
The two teams traded goals in the fourth, each putting three goals on the scoreboard. After four periods of play, Dos Lunas continued to lead by two goals, 11-9.
The Ayala attack exploded for five goals in the fifth while a disciplined defense held Dos Lunas scoreless. With one chukker left in regulation play, Ayala boasted a three goal, 14-11 advantage.
The La Indiana attack continued to roll in the sixth period. Outscoring Dos Lunas 3-2, La Indiana rode on to score a convincing 17-12 victory.
Gold Cup play is scheduled to continue on Wednesday at 7pm with a game between the Maserati Silver Cup Championship Lechuza (Victor Vargas, Pelon Stirling, Juan Martín Nero and Will Harper) and Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent, Pablo MacDonough and Hugo Lewis). It will be the first Gold Cup game of the season for Lechuza (0-0, )while Dubai (0-1) will be battling for their first win of the tournament.