Wellington, FL – January 6, 2021 – Facing each other just days after competing for the Bobby Barry Cup, Palm Beach Equine and Beverly Polo kicked off play in the 2021 Joe Barry Memorial with a thrilling overtime match on the Isla Carroll East field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Tolito Ocampo played the hero, converting the difficult nearside neck shot to secure the 12-11 victory for Beverly Polo.
Withstanding a run of six goals from Palm Beach Equine in the middle of the game, Beverly Polo received a strong contribution from Hilario Figueras, who finished with five goals, four of which came from the penalty line, in the thrilling victory. Palm Beach Equine had their opportunities to take the victory, shooting an efficient 69 percent on 13 shots, but were kept on the defensive in the final stages of the game due to the relentless pressure of Beverly Polo. Playing exceptionally in the #1 position, a crucial goal from Bill Ballhaus helped force overtime, where Beverly Polo quickly forced Palm Beach Equine into a foul that ultimately led to the game-winning goal from Ocampo.
Quickly extending their two-goal lead on handicap, Beverly Polo raced out of the gate receiving a field goal from Ocampo and penalty 2 conversion from Figueras to hold a 4-0 advantage. Following up his MVP performance from Sunday, Gringo Colombres brought Palm Beach Equine back into the game, scoring two goals while also receiving a foul that resulted in a Costi Caset penalty conversion. Finding their stride, Palm Beach Equine began to pressure Beverly Polo, but foul trouble, including two blocking infractions, allowed Beverly Polo to push their lead to three at 7-4. The momentum of the game changed at the end of the first half due to missed opportunities from Beverly Polo and perfect 3-for-3 shooting from Palm Beach Equine, receiving one goal each from Caset, Colombres, and Robbie Bilbao, to tie the score at 7-7 entering halftime.
Tolito Ocampo helped convert a difficult nearside neck shot to secure the victory for Beverly Polo. ©Alex Pacheco
The duo of Caset and Colombres continued to be effective for the Palm Beach Equine attack, combining for two goals in the fourth chukker for their first lead of the game. Completing a run of six unanswered goals, Palm Beach Equine had their sights set on their second consecutive victory to open the season. Figueras ended the run, receiving a penalty 1 for Beverly Polo, but they remained trailing by one with two chukkers remaining. Making a significant impact, Ballhaus completed a long run for his first goal of the game and quickly followed that up with an important goal in the sixth chukker, giving Beverly Polo the 11-10 lead with time running out. Caset responded with his fourth goal to tie the score and with a chance to win the game, sent a penalty 3 attempt wide, pushing the game into overtime.
Receiving an early foul, Beverly Polo held possession in the attacking half and on a determined run to goal, it was Ocampo that jumped on the loose ball, sending a tough nearside neck shot just inside the post to secure the exciting 12-11 victory for Beverly Polo. Play resumes on Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Home of the U.S. Polo Assn – Field 1, with Beverly Polo facing Santa Clara.
Beverly Polo defeated Palm Beach Equine to win the first game of the Joe Barry Memorial. ©Alex Pacheco
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