Tonkawa downs CT Energia, 11-9
By Alex Webbe
Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade looked like the player who won the 2013 Queens Cup and British Open while 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres looked like the real thing as they led Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and Tomas Alberdi) to an 11-9 win over CT Energia (Alessandro Bazzoni, Kris Kampsen, Joao Ganon and Nick Manifold) Monday afternoon in the International Polo Club’s 2014 Joe Barry Memorial Cup.
CT Energia received one goal by handicap from the 20-goal Tonkawa team, and Brazil’s Joao Ganon scored the first goal of the day, but the balance of the chukker belonged to Tonkawa. Gonzalito Pieres scored three times from the field; Rodrigo Andrade and Tomas Alberdi each added a goal and at the end of the opening period, CT Energia found themselves trailing by three goals, 5-2.
Pieres and Ganon exchanged goals in the second for the only scoring of the chukker. Tonkawa continued to lead, 6-3.
Tomas Alberdi registered his first goal of the game in the third, 7-3, but CT Energia responded. A third goal from Ganon came on a penalty conversion. The first half ended with Tonkawa on top, 7-4.
“I thought there was a noticeable difference in the horses,” said Joy Countess du Lau d'Allemans who was in town for the polo. “When Gonzalito got control of the ball and galloped off with, there didn’t seem to be anyone on the field who could catch him.”
A re-focused CT Energia polo team took the field in the fourth chukker a new team. Ganon opened the chukker with a goal followed by a goal from Pieres, 8-5. Nick Manifold scored for CT Energia, 8-6 followed by a pair of goals from Kris Kampsen. After four chukkers of play, the score was all even at 8-8.
Three fifth chukker goals from Pieres went unanswered as he converted a pair of penalty goals and added a goal from the field. Tonkawa found themselves in the lead once again, 11-8.
CT Energia tried to stage a late rally in the sixth, but came up short. The Tonkawa defense stepped it up, allowing only a single goal from Manifold for the final 11-9 Tonkawa victory.
Pieres set the pace for Tonkawa with eight goals (two on penalty shots). Alberdi added a pair of goals with Andrade adding a score for the win. Ganon scored four times for CT Energia. Teammates Kampsen and Manifold added two goals each in the loss.
Tournament play is scheduled to continue on Thursday with three 20-goal matches in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup beginning with a 10am contest between Villa Del Lago/Casablanca (Jim Zenni, Agustin Obregon, Polito Pieres and Inaki Laprida) and Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Jeff Hall, Julio Arellano and Nick Morrison) followed by a battle between Los Machitos (Steve Lefkowitz, Matias Magrini, Mariano Aguerre and Sterling Giannico) and Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Lucas Criado, Facundo Pieres and Marcos Alberdi) at 1pm. The final match of the day will get started at 3pm and will feature Palm Beach Illustrated (Jared Zenni, Facundo Pieres, Magoo Laprida and Tommy Collingwood) and El Cabure (Federico Virasoro, Carlucho Arellano, Agustin Merlos and Stevie Orthwein.