The semifinals and final of the Bronze Cup, the first leg of Polo Challenge 2016, took place last week in Casa de Campo, La Romana and Los Establos, Ciudad Ecuestre in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. The semifinals and subsidiaries were played on Wednesday, 27 January, at Los Establos, Ciudad Ecuestre. First, La Carbuccia took on Pitirri/Potranca; the close match was defined in extra chukka when Denny Santana scored the golden goal. The win put Pitirri through to the subsidiary final. Silvestre “Bete” Donovan was named MVP of the match.
The second game saw another close battle as locals Los Establos faced Casa de Campo. The game ended 13-11 in favour of Casa de Campo, who would then face Pitirri in the subsidiary final. Leo Matos was named Most Valuable Player.
The semifinals kicked off on Thursday at Casa de Campo with a game between Agualinda and Los Samanes. Unfortunately, the latter was not able to take control and Agualinda dominated the match. Uruguayan David Stirling (MVP) stood out as he led his team to a 10-7 victory and earned them a place in the final.
The second semifinal saw an undefeated Lechuza foursome overrule Power Infrastructure as they secured a place in the final with a cool 12-6 win. World class Back Juan Martin Nero was named MVP.
The much anticipated finals of the Bronze Cup were played on Saturday, 30 January, at Los Establos. First, Pitirri/Potranca and Casa de Campo played the subsidiary final; the exciting match came to a head in the last chukka, with successful attacking plays from both teams. Bensadon tied the score in the last seconds of the sixth, sending the match into overtime. Rueda scored the golden goal for Pitirri (12-11) and they claimed the subsidiary cup. Denny Santana was named MVP.
The Lechuza vs Agualinda final was a thrilling game, though the quality of play was not reflected in the final score; surprisingly enough, the final saw the least amount of goals scored in a Bronze Cup game. Lisioli was on point, scoring two spectacular neck shots in the third chukka. Nero waited until the last chukka to score, as did Victor Vargas, who converted a penalty to give his team a crucial one goal advantage. Lechuza managed to maintain the difference and win the game 6-5. David Stirling was named MVP thanks to his relentless defence and three key goals.
The Polo Challenge will continue Saturday, 6 February, at Casa de Campo with the Royal Salute Charity Cup. The Cup will see three time Argentine Triple Crown champion Adolfo Cambiaso playing for the first time in the Caribbean.