The 2021 Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament concluded Sunday, Jan. 17 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach with Santa Clara emerging victorious over Beverly Polo. In a memorable final for Santa Clara, the two father-son duos of Escobars and Magrinis remained undefeated, capturing the 10-7 victory.
Santa Clara displayed a balanced team effort on both offense and defense to defeat Beverly Polo for the second time in the tournament. Aiming to overcome a 11-10 overtime loss to Santa Clara a week earlier, Beverly Polo struggled from the field, converting just two of 15 attempts. Tolito Ocampo managed to keep Beverly Polo in the match, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the penalty line, but Santa Clara proved to be the better team, shooting 43 percent on 16 shots. Keko Magrini led all players with four goals, including crucial back-to-back goals in the sixth chukker, securing the tournament victory.
In the early stages of the game, Santa Clara quickly erased a one-goal deficit on handicap, holding Beverly Polo scoreless in the first chukker while receiving one goal each from Keko Magrini and Luis Escobar. An early fall from Lucas Diaz Alberdi forced him from the game due to injury, replaced by Peke Gonzalez, as Beverly Polo searched for an offensive spark. Goals were difficult to come by in a defensive second chukker with a Penalty 4 conversion for Tolito Ocampo the only goal in the chukker, tying the score at 2-2. Lucas and Luis Escobar helped Santa Clara retake the lead in the first few minutes of the third chukker, scoring two consecutive goals, but Beverly Polo’s Peke Gonzalez made an impact with his first goal, along with one field goal from Hilario Figueras, to end the first half with the teams deadlocked at 4-4.
The hard-fought physical game carried into the second half with just one shot between the two teams in the fourth chukker. Receiving two penalty opportunities, Santa Clara’s Lucas Escobar converted both, giving Santa Clara control of the game at 6-4. The duo of Keko Magrini and Lucas Escobar was a consistent factor for Santa Clara throughout the tournament, driving the attack forward, and it carried into the final two chukkers.
A second yellow card awarded to Ocampo left Beverly Polo a man short for two minutes as Santa Clara extended their lead to three on goals from Keko Magrini and Luis Escobar in the fifth chukker, leaving Beverly Polo facing a difficult task with one chukker remaining. Despite scoring two goals from the penalty line in the sixth chukker, Beverly Polo’s inability to convert from the field, scoring zero field goals in the second half, allowed Santa Clara to secure the victory. Keko Magrini managed to score two back-to-back goals in the final minutes, completing the impressive performance in Santa Clara’s 10-7 victory.
Keko Magrini was awarded Most Valuable Player, while Yatay Shazam, played by Tolito Ocampo, received Best Playing Pony honors.
Currently underway at IPC is the Ylvisaker Cup, which concludes Feb 7. Learn more at www.internationalpoloclub.com.