Colorado Edges Grand Champions to Advance to C.V. Whitney Cup Final
The second semi-final in the 2018 C.V. Whitney Cup featured a close game that came down to the final seconds as the stats were nearly indistinguishable between Colorado and Grand Champions Polo Club. With both teams finishing with six goals from the field and seven goals from the penalty line, it was the one goal on handicap in favour of Colorado that ended up being the difference as Colorado held on for the 14-13 victory, setting up Sunday’s final against Valiente.
With the teams evenly matched, the closely marked game became a scrappy affair that saw 27 fouls, limiting the trio of eight-goalers on Grand Champions from breaking away for open runs. The aggressive style of defence played from both teams, led to a penalty shooting battle between Diego Cavanagh and Nic Roldan, but both converted 7 of their 8 opportunities in the game. The slow pace of the game allowed Diego to thrive on the ball and display the offensive ability that moved him up to a 9-goal handicap for the 2018 season, but the attack of Nico Pieres and Roldan was equally effective. While the Grand Champions duo looked to play off one another throughout the game, they often had to deal with an active Magoo Laprida breaking up their attacks to goal.
Early in the game, both teams were able to convert their opportunities from the field at a high rate with Grand Champions building a slim 8-6 lead at halftime behind a four-goal third chukka that saw perfect 2 for 2 shooting from both the penalty line and the field. The fouls continued to pile up in the second half as Colorado’s Cavanagh was able to take advantage in the fourth chukka along with Santi Torres as they combined to turn their two goal deficit into a one goal advantage.
After Grand Champions grabbed hold of the lead once again in the fifth chukka, Colorado was able to comeback behind Cavanagh’s elite penalty shooting in the game. Converting all three of his penalty attempts in the final chukka, Cavanagh provided his team with a slim lead as time was expiring. Before the game was over, Grand Champions’ Roldan received a penalty 4 attempt with just seconds left in the game, but was unable to convert the opportunity as the ball sailed wide and Colorado completed the 14-13 victory.
The first game of the day featured a dominant performance from Pilot as they defeated La Indiana 12-3 in the second game of the 20-goal Iglehart Cup. Coming off a ten-goal performance yesterday in 26-goal play with Valiente, Facundo Pieres played another exceptional game alongside brother Gonzalito Pieres as they executed their offense at a high rate. After a closely matched opening two chukkas that saw the teams deadlocked in a 2-2 tie, Pilot took control of the game as the Pieres brothers along with Timmy Dutta smothered the La Indiana players causing numerous turnovers in the second half.
Pressuring the La Indiana defence with their attacks, Pilot was able to create offense from both the penalty line and the field, as both Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres executed their game plan effectively. Often blocking for each other, they often took two defenders off the ball to create the time and space they needed for their attack. Scoring 11 consecutive goals, led by eight goals from Gonzalito Pieres, Pilot ran away with the game in the second half, as La Indiana shot at goal 13 times in the game but scored just two goals from the field as the fell to Pilot 13-2.