WELLINGTON, FL, February 8, 2021— Scone defeated La Indiana by 14-13 to win the 2021 Sterling Cup title.
In what was undoubtedly the most exciting match of the 2021 Sterling Cup, Scone (David Paradice, Poroto Cambiaso, Peke Gonzalez, and Adolfo Cambiaso) faced off against La Indiana (Nico Escobar, Jeff Hall, Polito Pieres, and Milo Dorignac) at Grand Champions Polo Club on Sunday.
La Indiana’s Nico Escobar, who played an outstanding match, scored the first of his six goals for the day just 30 seconds into the first chukker. Slightly less than a minute later, Cambiaso baited young Escobar into a penalty and Peke Gonzalez converted on the Penalty 2 to put a goal on the board for Scone. Milo Dorignac retaliated with a goal that put his team into the lead. La Indiana played aggressively, keeping the pressure on Adolfo Cambiaso, and Escobar socred again at 1:53. Unfortunately, he followed up with another foul, allowing Peke Gonzalez to convert a Penalty 3. La Indiana ended the chukker up by 1 goal, at 3-2.
Gonzalez started the second chukker by converting a Penalty 2, tying the score at 3-3. Another foul by La Indiana gave him the chance to score on a Penalty 3, putting Scone in the lead at 3-4. While La Indiana was outplaying Scone from the field, overzealousness on their part was to their detriment, giving Scone a few too many opportunities to score from the penalty line. As the chukker progressed, Scone begain to win the throw-ins and take control of the field.
At just under 4 minutes, Adolfo Cambiaso sent the ball downfield to Poroto, who made a spectacular goal from 60 yards. Escobar scored La Indiana’s last goal in the chukker with two-and-a-half minutes left to play, but Scone completed their turnaround from the first chukker with another goal by Adolfo Cambiaso and a beautiful neck shot by Gonzalez with 55 seconds remaining on the clock. The chukker ended at 7-4 for Scone.
Early in the third chukker, La Indiana made the mistake of leaving the door open for Poroto, who made a strong run to the goal. Jeff Hall made one of his best plays of the day when he saw Adolfo coming for him and switched to the near side to score. With four minutes left in the chukker, Escobar saw an opportunity after the throw-in, signaling Polito Pieres for the pass and taking the ball to goal. Following another successful shot by Poroto, the two ten-goalers got into a sword fight near the boards that resulted in a Penalty 4 goal for Pieres and ended the half with Scone in the lead 9-7.
The fourth chukker began at a frenetic pace, and after two minutes of back-and-forth play Escobar finally found the goal. Poroto got a whistle for crossing the line, giving Pieres a chance to score on a Penalty 4, but the shot went wide just left of the post. With two minutes left on the board, Milo Dorignac demonstrated a textbook rideoff but missed an opportunity for a backhander, giving Cambiaso pére the opportunity to boost the score to 10-8. With 56 seconds left to play, Poroto capitalized on a mistake in front of the goal to end the chukker 11-8 for Scone.
Throughout the tournament, La Indiana has been a big scorer in the fifth chukker. They slowed the pace today and following a goal by Poroto early in the period, answered with only two goals of their own. With 2:23 left to play, Escobar scored his sixth and final goal of the day. At just 12 seconds left on the clock, Jeff Hall picked Cambiaso’s pocket and slammed the ball downfield to Pieres, who whalloped it through to end the pentultimate chukker at 12-10 with Scone still in the lead.
La Indiana was firing on all cylinders again, but nobody wants to go into the final chukker down by two to Cambiaso. Just over a minute into the final chukker, despite every possible effort by Nico Escobar to thwart him, Cambiaso found the goal in a striking demonstration of his preternatural abilities. Following a goal by Pieres, Milo Dorignac got the better of Peke Gonzalez to bring La Indiana within one goal of Scone, at 13-12.
With just under two minutes left, a series of missed opportunities by La Indiana left the ball in front of the goal, where Adolfo Cambiaso made quick work of it and put Scone up 14-12. Milking the clock, Cambiaso took the ball to the boards. Following a foul by David Paradice, Polito Pieres had the opportunity to convert a penalty, but it was cold comfort for La Indiana and Scone took the Sterling Cup title by 14-13.
Adolfo Cambiaso was named MVP, while Dolfina Paloma, owned by J5 and played by Adolfo Cambiaso in the third chukker, was named Best Playing Pony.
Images: © Grand Champions Polo Club
WINTER 2021 COVID-19 POLICY: The GCPC property, facilities, and events are only accessible to polo players, their immediate families, and necessary staff. This policy will remain in effect until further notice.
The GCPC family is immensely grateful and humbled by the excitement and support shown by locals and new guests over the years. We wish we could welcome everyone to the sidelines to cheer our players on; however, in order to remain in operation amidst a global pandemic, we regret to inform you that Grand Champions Polo Club events and facilities are currently closed to the public. Ultimately, our goal as a Club is to keep polo going, but our goal as a community first and foremost is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
There is nothing we would love more than to have more spectators on the sidelines and to greet new and friendly faces to the Club. Unfortunately, we cannot operate as normal and have temporarily minimized the Club’s capacity in an effort to prioritize the health and safety of our community.
MORE UPDATES TO COME SOON: For potential GCPC policy changes, we encourage our fans to continue to check our Instagram and website for more updates to come.
In the meantime, we thank you for your cooperation in this team effort to ensure we can keep playing polo, as well as keep playing our part in the community to minimize risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We appreciate your loyalty and understanding and hope to see you back on the sidelines soon!