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Butler Handicap final

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Crab Orchard downs Coca-Cola for Butler Handicap title

By Alex Webbe

A Crab Orchard (Kerstie Allen, Facundo Pieres, Magoo Laprida and Inaki Laprida) lineup that was forced to replace regulars George Rawlings and Paco de Narvaez with Kerstie Allen and Inaki Laprida received one goal by handicap from a 26-goal Coca-Cola team (Gillian Johnston, Sebastian Merlos, Julio Arellano and Facundo Obregon) that quickly tied it up at 1-1 on an early goal from the field from Sebastian Merlos. A pair of penalty conversions from Facundo Pieres, however, closed out the opening chukker with Crab Orchard on top of a 3-1 score.

Pieres scored his third goal of the game from the field in the first 30 seconds of the second chukker and added another goal on a 60-yard penalty conversion to put Crab Orchard ahead, 5-1. With less than two minutes in the chukker Facundo Obregon stole the ball from a Crab Orchard player and raced down the field only to leave it for Gillian Johnston who drove it through the Crab Orchard goalposts for a Coca-Cola goal. After two chukkers Crab Orchard continued to lead, 5-2.

Defenses tightened in the third with Magoo Laprida and Julio Arellano scoring single goals for their respective teams. The first half ended with Crab Orchard in front by three goals, 6-3.

Pieres added two more penalty goals in the fourth period, and Inaki Laprida and Magoo Laprida each scored a goal from the field. Coca-Cola was blanked and fell behind by seven goals, 10-3.

Coca-Cola struggled to get back into the game in the fifth chukker. They received a goal on a rarely awarded Penalty 1 followed by a penalty conversion by Facundo Obregon that cut the Crab Orchard lead back to five goals, 10-5. Pieres and Inaki Laprida quickly restored the Crab Orchard to seven goals with a pair of single goals, 12-5. Coca-Cola 9-goaler Julio Arellano closed the chukker with a penalty conversion that left them trailing by six goals, 12-6.

Magoo Laprida put Crab Orchard in front by seven goals with a goal at the 6:02 mark, 13-6. Merlos responded with consecutive goals for Coca-Cola, 13-8. Magoo Laprida made it 14-8 with two minutes left in the chukker. Arellano scored the final goal of the game for Coca-Cola on a 60-yard penalty shot for the 14-9 Crab orchard win.

Pieres scored five of his game high seven goals on penalty shots. Magoo Laprida added four goals and Inaki Laprida scored twice. Crab Orchard received one goal by handicap. Merlos and Arellano scored three goals apiece for Coca-Cola. Obregon and Johnston added single goals in the loss.

Inaki Laprida was named MVP while Norma, owned by Facundo Pieres, received Best Playing Pony honors.