The group stages of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament came to an end on Sunday, Jan. 21 after five matches at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The final match of the tournament is set for Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m.
The tournament is the second of the 20-goal season in Wellington. Last weekend’s games determined which teams would earn a qualifying placement for both the main and subsidiary semifinals matches. However, a tie in one of the brackets led to a penalty shootout on Monday morning to determine the final two teams. The highlight Sunday match featured a victory by Coca-Cola over SD Farms in front of a large crowd.
Tonkawa Defeats Travieso 12-10 — Tonkawa and Travieso went head to head for a place in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Tonkawa’s Jeff Hildebrand went into the match with an undefeated record after beating Grand Champions and Coca-Cola. Travieso, on the other hand, suffered a recent defeat to La Indiana, but still held chances of advancing in the tournament.
Postage Stamp Defeats Colorado 13-11 — During the second 10 a.m. match, Colorado needed a win in order to qualify for the penalty shootout, and Postage Stamp was looking to claim its first victory after two defeats. While the first half of the match was favorable for Rob Jornayvaz’s team, the six goals Postage Stamp claimed in the fourth chukker — two from Annabelle Gundlach, two from Brandon Phillips and two from Kris Kampsen — over Colorado’s single conversion sealed the deal.
Mōdere Defeats Goose Creek 12-11 — Like Tonkawa, Mōdere went into the afternoon match with an enviable unbeaten status. Goose Creek, however, had to get the win in order to secure a spot in the penalty shootout. Goose Creek managed to turn the tough game in their favor during the fifth chukker, claiming a two-goal advantage. But two goals from Hilario Ulloa and one from Agustín Obregon in the sixth chukker squashed any hope that Maureen Brennan’s team had of winning the match. The victory gave Mōdere a golden ticket to the semifinals.
Pilot Defeats Grand Champions 15-12 — This match saw two teams battle it out for a win on the Isla Caroll East field. On Curtis Pilot’s team, Facundo Pieres was the star, scoring seven goals in the first half and three more in the second. By halftime Pilot secured an advantage, which was too big for Grant Ganzi’s team to overcome.
Coca-Cola Defeats SD Farms 11-6 — The most important match of the day, under the spotlight of Sunday polo at IPC, was played on the club’s main field. Coca-Cola improved throughout the tournament, but needed a win in order to qualify for the penalty shootout. With the support of Argentine coach Miguel Novillo Astrada, Gillian Johnston’s team gave their best performance yet and managed to claim the win. On the following day, Coca-Cola beat Travieso in the penalty shootout to qualify for the tournament semifinals.
The winners of Wednesday’s seminal matches — Mōdere vs. Coca-Cola and Tonkawa vs. La Indiana — will meet at the Jan. 28 final.
For more information about the International Polo Club Palm Beach, visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.