Villa del Lago and Dubai Remain Undefeated in Joe Barry Cup
Jesse Bray and Guille Aguero. Photo: David Lominska/Polographics.com
Villa de Lago defeats Palm Beach Illustrated/Technogym 12-11
Nacho Badiola and Agustin Obregon.
Photo: David Lominska/Polographics.com
Villa del Lago remains undefeated in the Joe Barry Cup after edging out Palm Beach Illustrated/Technogym 12-11 in an evenly matched bout at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). The teams stayed within two goals of each other and kept much of the game tied. Hilario Ulloa scored nine goals total for Villa del Lago, despite two yellow cards that forced him to sit out five minutes of the fourth chukker. Palm Beach Illustrated/Technogym scored twice during the advantage, keeping the gap to a single goal (7-6). The game was tied at 9 going into the sixth chukker. Three goals by Ulloa, countered by one each from Nacho Badiola and Facundo Obregon, brought Villa del Lago to a 12-11 lead. In the final minute of the game Obregon's effort to retie the score went wide to the right, handing the win to Villa del Lago.
"I was happy to win. We played against a tough team; they were really well balanced," said Ulloa, who found his time out in the fourth agonizing. "I was praying for my teammates to keep the score close, and I think they were amazing. They played even better than when I was on the field. I was so lucky. I was desperate to come back and play well."
Villa del Lago (2-0)
Palm Beach Illustated/Technogym (1-1)
James Zenni 0
Nacho Badiola 6
Agustin Obregon 5
Jared Zenni 3
Hilario Ulloa 9
Facundo Obregon 6
Guille Aguero 6
Jesse Bray 5
Rashid Albwardy and Bob Jornayvaz. Photo: Sharon Castro/Polographics.com
The faceoff between Dubai and Valiente on the pristine Valiente field was as much a head game as it was a physical one. It was six straight chukkers of chess-at-35 miles per hour, with Dubai commanding the board most of the time. Dubai made eight consecutive goals in the first half, stunning its opponent. It looked like the first half was going to be a complete shutout for Valiente, which remained scoreless until the last 43 seconds of the third chukker. Dubai, until then meticulous with every step, allowed Santi Chavanne to capitalize on a penalty three. Although still trailing (8-1), the last-gasp point gave Valiente a psychological advantage going into the second half. Santi Torres came back out mach nine-hair-on-fire, leading a four-goal scoring spree with every Valiente player making a goal in the fourth chukker. Now it was Dubai's turn to be stunned. Valiente stopped them in their tracks, keeping its opponent off the board for the entire chukker to tighten the spread to 9-5. Valiente manager Roberto Zedda was a consistent force in the second half, scoring in each chukker while continuing to mount a strong defense. "Zedda started changing his play," said Dubai patron Rashid Albwardy. "There was a lot of switching going on." As Albwardy and teammate Alejo Taranco noted, while Dubai had perplexed its opponent for the first half, Valiente's lineup scramble in the second required a serious strategy shift by the team in green. Valiente whittled Dubai's lead from four points at the end of the fourth chukker to three at the close of the fifth and finally to two, ending the game 11-9 for Dubai.ChukkerTV live streamed the Valiente/Dubai match and subsequently aired the Villa de Lago/Palm Beach Illustrated game.
Rashid Albwardy 2
Bob Jornyvaz 2
Carlitos Gracida 4
Roberto Zedda 4
Diego Cavanagh 8
Santi Torres 7
Alejo Taranco 6
Santi Chavanne 7
The Joe Barry Cup continues Thursday at 3 p.m., when Audi/Millarville opposes Orchard Hill at IPC.
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