Ellerstina Impressive in Hurlingham Open Debut
The third day of the 2018 Hurlingham Open saw La Aguada survive a tough game against La Ensenada in the 14-12 victory, while Ellerstina defeated La Dolfina Polo Ranch 20-4 in a dominant performance at Hurlingham Country Club.
The first game of the day came down to the final chukka in a foul ridden affair that saw a combined 31 fouls between the two teams. The start and stop game saw both teams have their own runs, but ultimately the outcome came down to La Aguada’s ability to convert their chances, while La Ensenada will lament their missed opportunities, converting just 5 of their 11 penalty attempts. After an even first chukka, La Aguada converted their next five shot attempts from the field, behind three goals from Alejandro Novillo Astrada to hold a two-goal lead. La Ensenada responded before the end of the half, with Juan Britos scoring his third goal of the game leading to a 6-6 tie at halftime.
The fouls continued to play a factor to begin the second half, with La Ensenada generating their offense from the penalty line, but La Aguada continued to win the battle in open play to overcome six fouls in the fourth and five chukkas. Trading goals over the two chukkas, the teams remained deadlocked at 10-10 entering the final chukka. The evenly matched game continued into the first half of the seventh chukka, with both teams converting a goal from the field and the penalty line but with minutes remaining, a drive downfield from Alejandro Novillo Astrada resulted in a penalty 1 and gave La Aguada the lead with time remaining. A final goal from Miguel Novillo Astrada sealed the victory and gave La Aguada their second win of the tournament.
The second game of the day saw Ellerstina put forth a strong team performance to overwhelm La Dolfina Polo Ranch both offensively and defensively to run away with the game. Held to just four goals, La Dolfina Polo Ranch were unable to maintain possession past the stout defence of Ellerstina and were quickly defending against the Ellerstina counter-attack that amassed 26 shots in the game. Over the opening two chukkas, Ellerstina converted just two of their seven shot attempts from the field, keeping La Dolfina Polo Ranch in the game. The inaccuracy from Ellerstina was remedied in the third chukka as they took advantage of three La Dolfina Polo Ranch fouls to shoot a perfect 3 for 3 from the field and convert their lone penalty attempt to build a 7-2 lead. Nico and Polito Pieres were the catalysts early in the game, but it was Facundo Pieres that helped extend Ellerstina’s lead, scoring all three of their team’s goals in the fourth chukka resulting in a 10-3 advantage at halftime.
Any doubt of the outcome was put to rest over the fifth and sixth chukkas as Ellerstina outscored La Dolfina Polo Ranch 8-0, which was part of a run of thirteen consecutive goals for Ellerstina. Held without a single shot attempt over those two chukkas, La Dolfina Polo Ranch was left without an answer for the quarter of Pieres’ that were seemingly everywhere throughout the game. Nico and Polito Pieres added another goal each in the final chukka to both finish with six goals in the dominant 20-4 victory.