La Dolfina and Ellerstina to Collide in Hurlingham Open Final
The final day of play before next Saturday’s 2018 Hurlingham Open final saw La Dolfina continue their dominant run through the Triple Crown with an 11-8 victory over Las Monjitas, while the first game of the day saw a double overtime thriller that was settled in the 9th chukker when Cria Yatay finally defeated La Albertina 13-12.
Never trailing in the game, La Dolfina took advantage of Las Monjitas’ early struggles from the field that saw them shoot just 1 for 13 from the field in the opening half. The calculated La Dolfina attack built a lead over the first half with a strong passing attack and performance from penalty line, finishing a perfect 4 for 4 in the game. Three fouls from Las Monjitas in the opening chukka gave La Dolfina the early advantage with Adolfo Cambiaso scoring the first two goals of the game. Improved discipline from Las Monjitas saw them reduce the deficit to two, but they were unable to match the La Dolfina offense due to their missed opportunities from the field that ultimately played a large part in the result of the game. La Dolfina pushed their lead to four by the end of the first half behind the penalty shooting of Pablo MacDonough, who converted both penalty 2 attempts while adding a goal from the field to give La Dolfina the 7-3 lead.
The second half saw Las Monjitas make their push, as an aggressive defensive style brought them within just two goals, as La Dolfina was held to just one goal in the fifth chukka. Committing three fouls for the second consecutive chukka, Las Monjitas saw the possession taken away from them as La Dolfina’s MacDonough added two more penalty 2 conversions to his total and creating a larger deficit for Las Monjitas to come back from. As has been the case throughout the entire tournament, La Dolfina proved to be the more disciplined side, committing zero fouls in the second half, preventing Sapo Caset from generating any offense from the penalty line. Two late goals from Santiago Toccalino in the seventh chukka wasn’t enough as Las Monjitas was unable to overcome their 33% shooting from the field, as La Dolfina claimed the 11-8 victory to set up a rematch of the Tortugas Open final against Ellerstina.
The opening game of the day proved to be an exciting affair between Cria Yatay and La Albertina that needed nine chukkas after Cria Yatay saw their early lead vanish, only to overcome a missed penalty attempt in the eighth chukka to ultimately claim victory. Cria Yatay held the slight edge throughout the game in their ability to generate offense and draw fouls, but inaccurate 4 for 7 penalty shooting, including a missed penalty 2 attempt in the eighth chukka kept La Albertina alive.
Racing out to a 9-4 lead after the third chukka, led by five goals from Joaquin Pittaluga, Cria Yatay looked to be in control of the game, but back-to-back goals from Nic Roldan started a run of five consecutive goals for La Albertina that tied the game at 9-9. The high scoring game tightened over the final three chukkas with both teams unable to consistently produce the offense seen early in the game. Missing six consecutive shots, Cria Yatay left the door open for La Albertina but the back and forth game was kept in the middle of the field. With a 12-12 tie, the game entered overtime and it was Cria Yatay that received the best opportunity to end the game, but in dramatic fashion, the penalty 2 opportunity was missed, sending the game into a rare ninth chukka. It was Tomas Garcia del Rio that found Valerio Zubiaurre for the winning goal as Cria Yatay completed the thrilling 13-12 victory.