Ellerstina and La Aguada Remain Undefeated in Hurlingham Open
The seventh day of play in the 2018 Hurlingham Open saw Ellerstina defeat La Ensenada 14-7, while La Aguada claimed the 12-7 victory over Alegria-La Irenita, with both teams advancing to 3-0 at Hurlingham Polo Club.
The opening game of the day so Ellerstina utilize their 12-goal advantage from handicap to overwhelm La Ensenada early in the game to race out to an 8-0 lead. Playing a consummate number one position, Polito Pieres was a factor in the front of the game, receiving passes from Nico and Facundo Pieres to finish at a high rate. Facundo Pieres made his impact offensively as well, moving forward in the game to contribute three of his team’s first six goals. After gaining the lead, Ellerstina managed their advantage, with Facundo Pieres rotating back and moving into a facilitating role to continue Ellerstina’s proficient offense. After a fast-paced opening two chukkas that favoured Ellerstina, La Ensenada was able to score three consecutive goals, behind winning four of five throw-ins in the third chukka and forcing Ellerstina into committing three fouls. The result was two penalty goals for Juan Britos, as La Ensenada reduced the deficit back down to five. The fourth chukka saw Ellerstina clean up their fouls and regain their eight-goal advantage with Polito Pieres scoring his fourth and fifth goals of the game to give Ellerstina the 11-3 lead.
Content to manage their lead, Ellerstina protected against the counter-attack and failed to find the scoresheet in the fifth chukka, while another penalty conversion for Britos saw La Ensenada win the chukka 2-0. The small run for La Ensenada wasn’t enough to challenge an Ellerstina team that produced 14 more shot attempts and ultimately eight more field goals. Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres worked together over the final two chukkas to both score and assist on each other’s goals to seal the 14-7 victory.
The second game featured a match-up between two evenly ranked teams, but Alegria-La Irenita were looking for their first victory, while La Aguada was looking to improve to 3-0. Early in the game, the story was Alegria-La Irenita’s accuracy while La Aguada produced more opportunities but were unable to finish at a high rate. Alegria-La Irenita claimed the early 2-0 lead after goals from Fred Mannix and Clemente Zavaleta and continued their strong play with a strong second chukka shooting a perfect 2 for 2 from the field. Over the opening three chukkas, La Aguada were winning the possession battle in open play but converted just one of their first seven shot attempts, trailed 4-2 after the variety of misses around goal. La Aguada’s fortunes changed in the fourth chukka as they were able to see the ball go through the goal, with Alejandro Novillo Astrada taking advantage of Alegria-La Irenita foul trouble to score two penalty goals and bring the game into a 5-5 tie.
Despite their continued inaccuracy from the field, La Aguada began to run away with the game in the second half, as Alegria-La Irenita were unable to avoid the whistle, providing La Aguada with five penalty attempts over the fifth and sixth chukkas. With four penalty goals pacing the La Aguada offense, the frustration for Alegria-La Irenita continued to increase as the deficit grew and the team received two yellow cards. Converting seven of nine penalty attempts in the game, along with adding two goals from the field, Alejandro Novillo Astrada was ultimately crucial to La Aguada’s success. Scoring the final four goals of the game, including a final goal from Alfredo Bigatti, La Aguada overcame 5 for 17 shooting from the field to improve to 3-0 and set up a game against Ellerstina to decide who will reach the final of the Hurlingham Open.