Ellerston hoists the Silver Cup in triumph in Spain
By Alex Webbe
Facundo Pieres is on a run that is the envy of everyone in polo as he and his Ellerston teammates (Ali Paterson, Gonzalito Pieres, Facundo Pieres and John Williams) captured Spain’s 2013 Silver Cup at the Santa Maria Polo Club Friday evening in a 13-11 win over Halcyon Gallery (Charlie Hanbury, Jota Chavanne, Guillermo Terrera and Max Routledge).
The two teams played to a 2-2 tie after the opening seven minutes of action, each searching out the other’s weaknesses while attempting to mount successful attacks of their own.
The two Pieres brothers took the reins in their hands in the second chukker and quickly ran up the score. Not only are Gonzalito and Facundo two of the world’s top players, but they have been playing together their whole lives and their teamwork was perfectly synchronized. Halcyon Gallery was held to a single goal and trailed by two, 5-3.
Three more Ellerston goals in the third stretched the lead to three goals, 8-5. Halcyon Gallery managed to find some offense, but the speed and play of the Pieres boys was too much to contend with as they fell behind by three goals at the end of the first half.
There was no let-up in the second half as Ellerston seemed to get its second wind. Four more goals were scored against a staggering Halcyon Gallery foursome who managed just a single goal in response. After four chukkers of play Ellerston ruled the field with a 12-6 advantage.
Halcyon Gallery scored three times in the fifth while limiting Ellerston to just a single goal. Halcyon Gallery had cut the Ellerston lead to four goals, 13-9, but there was some concern that they were playing on cruise control, saving their horses for the next tournament.
Halcyon Gallery outscored Ellerston again in the sixth chukker, picking up two goals while limiting the Pieres boys to just one score. Once again it appeared that the Ellerston team was playing at half speed as they celebrated the 13-11 when at the final bell.
The victory was Facundo’s fourth straight major win dating back to the Zacara win in the United States Open and following through Zacara’s sweep of the high-goal season with wins in the Queens Cup and the British Open. Whether Facundo Pieres has the Midas touch this year or might well be determined in Santa Maria Polo Club’s Gold Cup which is scheduled to begin competition on Monday, August 19th with a schedule to be announced.
Although the stickwork of Facundo Pieres is a matter of fact, knowledgeable players gave the nod to his older brother Gonzalito today.
Royal Salute 9, HB Polo 8
Earlier in the day, Royal Salute Whiskey (Petrus Fernandini, Alejandro Muzzio, Jaime Huidobro and Malcolm Borwick) scored a narrow 9-8 win over HB Polo (Ludovic Pailloncy, Sebastian Pailloncy, Ignacio Toccalino and Pite Merlos) in the subsidiary finals of the tournament.