The Valiente team of Bob Jornayvaz, Santi Torres, Sapo Caset and Roberto Zedda came out on top of a see-saw battle with Tonkawa last Sunday afternoon in the final match of the 20-goal 2014 Joe Barry Memorial Cup Tournament at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
A rash of penalties in the sixth chukker turned a neck-and-neck game into a five-goal rout by Valiente over Tonkawa, made up of Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and Tomas Alberdi.
Goals were hard to come by in the opening chukker of play, with Valiente’s Torres scoring the first goal of the match at the 4:14 mark for a 1-0 lead. Teammates Zedda and Caset followed up with single goals of their own, while Tonkawa was unable to get their attack on track, trailing 3-0.
Pieres finally got Tonkawa on the scoreboard in the second chukker by way of a pair of penalty conversions, but Valiente continued to lead. Torres scored the final goal of the chukker, to put Valiente on top of a 4-2 score.
The two teams traded goals in the third, with Caset scoring twice for Valiente, and Pieres and Andrade picking up goals for Tonkawa. At the end of the first half, Valiente was in front by two goals, 6-4.
When play resumed, Valiente captain Jornayvaz found himself on the receiving end of a beautifully placed pass from Caset and burned it through the goalposts for a 7-4 Valiente lead. Pieres then responded with four consecutive goals (three on penalty shots) for Tonkawa’s first lead of the day, 8-7. Valiente answered back, as Caset made good on two penalty shots to close the chukker. Valiente was back in the lead, but by one goal, 9-8.
Horse races up and down the field continued into the fifth chukker, but neither team was able to break through to score. Defense continued to rule the day in the opening minutes of the sixth chukker, until Caset scored from the field for a 10-8 edge. Torres made it 11-8 on his third goal of the day, and that was when the wheels came off the Tonkawa wagon. Three consecutive technical fouls were converted into two more goals for Valiente. The game ended with Valiente celebrating a 13-8 victory.
Caset led all scoring with eight goals, four on penalty shots. Torres scored three times, while Jornayvaz and Zedda each added a goal for the win. Pieres led the Tonkawa attack with seven goals, six on penalty shots. Andrade scored the other goal.
Valiente’s Santi Torres was named MVP, while Rodrigo Andrade’s Quiosquero was honored as Best Playing Pony.
Earlier in the day, Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Lucas Criado, Facundo Pieres and Marcos Alberdi) outlasted Flight Options (Melissa Ganzi, Freddie Mannix, Miguel Astrada and Juan Bollini), 12-10, in a fast-moving contest that decided the 2014 Bobby Barry Cup title.
Pieres scored the first goal of the game in the opening minute of play on a 200-yard run down the field that culminated in a 70-yard shot through the posts for a 1-0 Orchard Hill lead.
A minute later, Astrada tied it up for Flight Options, 1-1, with a 40-yard penalty conversion for a goal. Bollini gave the lead back to Flight Options with a goal from the field.
Second chukker play saw Bollini score to move Flight Options in front, 3-1. Astrada added two more goals, and Flight Options’ lead continued to grow, 5-2. Orchard Hill got a single penalty goal from Caset.
Orchard Hill took control of the game in the third period, scoring three times while holding Flight Options scoreless. Pieres opened the chukker with a penalty goal, followed by a goal from the field by Criado. Another goal from Pieres ended the first half in a 5-5 tie.
When play resumed, Mannix got Flight Options back on the scoreboard with a goal from the field for a 6-5 lead. Pieres scored twice to quickly regain the lead, 7-6. Astrada knotted up the score again, 7-7, with the conversion of a safety. Pieres and Alberdi each added a goal to end the chukker with Orchard Hill still on top, 9-7.
Flight Options scored on a pair of goals from Astrada to tie it up 9-9, while the team’s defense did the rest. Orchard Hill was unable to score in the fifth chukker.
Astrada gave Flight Options the lead, once again, on a goal from the field, but the balance of the sixth chukker belonged to Orchard Hill. Pieres converted a penalty shot for the 10-10 tie at the 5:02 mark. It was then nearly four minutes of scoreless play before Criado took a pass from Pieres and raced down the field to score, 11-10. Criado stretched the Orchard Hill lead to two goals with his second goal of the chukker, sealing the 12-10 victory.
Pieres led all scoring with eight goals and was named MVP. Criado’s Chiruza received Best Playing Pony honors.
Polo season continues this weekend at IPC with the 20-goal Ylvisaker Cup. IPC is located at 3667 120th Ave. South in Wellington. For tickets, call (561) 282-5334 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.