By Alex Webbe
With the first five goals of the game coming on penalty shots, it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon, but the paced continued to accelerate as Crab Orchard wrestled control of the game away from a talented Nic Roldan in the second half and rode on to register an 11-9 win to capture the 2013 Joe Barry Memorial Cup at the International Polo Club in Wellington. Roldan converted three penalty shots for Audi in the opening chukker of the match with Crab Orchard responding with penalty goals from Matias Magrini and Mariano Aguerre. Audi took the lead after the opening chukker, 3-2.
Second chukker action saw Aguerre and Magrini add single goals from the field while Roldan made good on 30-yard and 40-yard penalty shots for goals. Audi continued to defend its one goal lead, 5-4. Magrini tied it up at 5-5 in the opening minute of the third period. Bolting down the field on a racehorse the former 10-goaler scored at the end of a 200yard run. Roldan responded immediately with a goal from the field for a 6-5 Audi advantage. Aguerre’s third goal of the match ended the first half with the score knotted up at 6-6.
Single goals from Magrini and Aguerre got Crab Orchard off on the right hoof in the opening two minutes of the fourth chukker as they gave Crab Orchard an 8-6 edge. A 60-yard penalty conversion from Aguerre ended the chukker with Audi trailing by three goals, 9-6. Audi had no intention of rolling over for Crab Orchard as they continued to press the attack in the fifth. Nico Pieres scored a goal from the field. Crab Orchard was unable to score in the fifth chukker as Audi cut the lead to a single goal, 9-8. Magrini and Felipe Viana converted penalty shots for goals while limiting the Audi attack to a single goal from Pieres.Time expired with Crab Orchard on the winning end of an 11-9 score.
Roldan led all scoring with seven goals, all on penalty shots. Nico Pieres scored twice in the loss. Crab Orchard got five goals apiece from Magrini (three on penalty shots) and Aguerre (two on penalty shots). Felipe Viana scored a single goal on a penalty shot for the 11-9 victory.
Magrini was named MVP for his efforts on the day. Mariano Aguerre’s Machitos Jackie received Best Playing Pony honors.
Earlier in the day, Valiente broke open a 6-6 tied game in the last two chukkers of the game to score six times and run off with a 12-9 win over La Herradura in the finals of the Bobby Barry Cup at the International Polo Club Sunday afternoon. La Herradura got on the scoreboard first with Marianito Obregon scoring the first goal from the field. Three minutes later Carlos Gracida converted a 40-yard penalty shot to make it 2-0, La Herradura. Santi Torres got Valiente in the scoring column in the last minute of the period, and La Herradura left the field with a 2-1 advantage. The Valiente defense silenced the La Herradura attack in the second chukker while taking advantage of a pair of penalties. Torres converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal in the first minute of play, followed by a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal from Adolfo Cambiaso. La Herradura was unable to mount an effective offense and the second period ended with Valiente on top of a 3-2 score.
The score in the third chukker yo-yoed back and forth with La Herradura tying it up on a goal from the field from Memo Gracida, 3-3. Cambiaso’s second goal of the match put Valiente back in the lead, 4-3. Obregon scored on a 30-yard penalty shot to even it at 4-4, but less than a minute later Cambiaso gave Valiente the lead again with another 60-yard penalty goal, 5-4. With just over a minute left to play in the period, Obregon scored on an incredibly difficult cut shot from the left side of the goal at full speed, 5-5. A penalty was called on a Valiente player with 22 seconds on the clock. Carlos Gracida converted it and La Herradura rode off the field at the end of the first half with a delicate 6-5 lead.
Julio Gracida just missed tying it up in the fourth when a perfectly executed shot at goal was saved by inches by an Obregon backhander. A minute later, Cambiaso made good on a shot at goal for the only score of the chukker and with two chukkers left to play it was all even at 6-6. Cambiaso scored the go-ahead goal for Valiente in the opening 30 seconds of the fifth on a shot from the field, 7-6. Obregon answered with a 40-yard penalty shot for a goal, 7-7. A second penalty shot for a goal from Obregon had La Herradura back in the lead, 8-7 when they ran into foul trouble. Consecutive penalty goals form Cambiaso had Valiente in front, 9-8. Torres closed out the chukker with a goal as time expired and Valiente held a two goal lead, 10-8. Julio Gracida had been robbed of two sure goals on dramatic goal line saves by Obregon at one end of the field and Carlos Gracida on the other, but he got his payback in the sixth. Consecutive goals at the six minute mark and the four minute mark padded the Valiente lead to four goals, 12-8. A deflated La Herradura attack scored the final goal of the attack (Carlos Gracida) with Valiente celebrating the 12-9 win.
Santiago Torres was named Most Valuable Player while Cambiaso’s mare, Miami, took Best Playing Pony honors.