Ellerstina wins but loses Aguerre; La Aguada/Las Monjitas loses in overtime to Alegria
By Alex Webbe
Surprises were the order of the day for the final two games in the first round of play in the 2014 Argentine Open Championship at Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina Sunday afternoon.
In the opening game of the day Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres, Mariano Aguerre and Nico Pieres) scored a 16-12 win over Chapaleufú, but at a devastating price.
First chukker play saw Ellerstina take an early 3-2 lead against Chapaleufú (Pepe Heguy, Nachi Heguy, Bautista Heguy and Eduardo Heguy), but it was a far cry away from the aggressive style of play they displayed in their 24-13 win over them in Hurlingham Open play.
Ellerstina extended their lead to two goals in the second period, 6-4. Chapaleufú scored twice but couldn’t keep pace with the team in black.
The two teams matched one another goal for goal in the third; two goals for Ellerstina and a pair of goals for Chapaleufú. Ellerstina continued to lead but couldn’t break away from Chapaleufú like they did in the past. Ellerstina held on to their two-goal lead, 7-5.
Ellerstina nailed two more goals in the fourth. Chapaleufú managed a single goal and fell behind by three goals at the end of the first half, 9-6.
The scoring pattern continued into the second half. Ellerstina managed two goals while holding Chapaleufú to a single goal. The Ellerstina lead grew to four goals, 11-7, at the end of the fifth chukker.
Chapaleufú continued to concentrate on defense in the sixth, but Ellerstina continued to score. Two goals to one found Chapaleufú trailing by five, 13-8.
Chapaleufú rattled their sabers in the seventh period and scored three goals. Ellerstina scored once but continued to lead, 14-11.
Ellerstina closed out the match with a pair of goals. Chapaleufú scored once but it was Ellerstina that rode home with the 16-12 victory.
Facundo Pieres scored ten goals (eight by penalty shots). Gonzalito Pieres added three goals. Mariano Aguerre scored twice and Nico Pieres added a goal for the win. Eduardo Heguy’s seven goals (five on penalty shots) led the Chapaleufú attack. Nachi Heguy scored three times and Pepe Heguy added two goals in the loss.
The bad news for Ellerstina was the fact that 9-goaler Mariano Aguerre suffered a fall in the final chukker that resulted in a shoulder injury that would end his season. South African eight-goaler Nachi Du Plessis was brought in to finish the game for Aguerre. Aguerre also lost one of his top horses, Vitina, in the fourth chukker.
Alegria 12, La Aguada/Las Monjitas 11 OT
More was expected from the Alegria foursome (Polito Pieres, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Alfredo Capella Barabucci) in Sunday’s second match regardless of the fact that they had lost their team captain (Fred Mannix, fractured hand). Alegria had upset Ellerstina last year and made their way to the Argentine Open final, but that didn’t seem to impress a hungry La Aguada/Las Monjitas (Lucas James, Magoo Laprida, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Alejandro Novillo Astrada).
In a defensively-oriented opening chukker it was La Aguada/Las Monjitas with the only goal. Alegria was unable to break through the La Aguada/Las Monjitas defense and trailed, 1-0.
The second chukker was no better for Alegria as the determined La Aguada/Las Monjitas defense kept them off the scoreboard once again. A porous Alegria defense allowed two more unanswered goals as they fell behind, 3-0.
Alegria finally got on the scoreboard in the third, but La Aguada/Las Monjitas continued to remain in control of the game. Alegria allowed three more goals. At the end of the third chukker La Aguada/Las Monjitas held a comfortable five goal advantage, 6-1.
Alegria regrouped for the fourth period and finally perked up both their offense and defense. Alegria put up three goals while holding La Aguada/Las Monjitas scoreless. Fr the first time all day Alegria managed to outscore La Aguada/Las Monjitas. At the end of the first half Alegria continued to trail, 6-4.
Just when it looked like Alegria was back, La Aguada/Las Monjitas slammed the door on them. La Aguada/Las Monjitas added two more goals in the fifth while shutting down the Alegria offense. After five chukkers La Aguada/Las Monjitas remained in front, 8-4.
Alegria turned the tables on La Aguada/Las Monjitas in the sixth period as they scored twice while silencing the La Aguada/Las Monjitas attack. Once again Alegria had cut the lead to two goals, but La Aguada/Las Monjitas remained in the lead, 8-6.
Both defenses stepped it up in the seventh chukker. Single goals were scored by each with La Aguada/Las Monjitas maintaining their two-goal lead, 9-7.
Alegria reached deep in the eighth. In their most productive offensive chukker of the game, Alegria came up with four goals. La Aguada/Las Monjitas scored twice but lost the lead with the game ending in regulation time all even at 11-11 , forcing an overtime to determine the winner.
Hilario Ulloa was given credit for the winning goal in overtime as a disappointed La Aguada/Las Monjitas team left the field stinging from the 12-11 loss. La Aguada/Las Monjitas had led for seven chukkers but were unable to seal the deal, losing to Alegria in the overtime period.
Polito Pieres led the scoring for Alegria with six goals (three on penalty conversions). Hilario Ulloa scored three times; Lucas Monteverde chipped in two goals and Alfredo Capella Barabucci scored on a penalty shot in the win. Alejandro Novillo Astrada’s six goals (four on penalty shots) set the pace for La Aguada/Las Monjitas. Magoo Laprida added three goals with Lucas James and Eduardo Novillo Astrada scoring single goals in the loss.