Wellington, FL - January 7, 2015 - The second tournament of the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) season, the Joe Barry Memorial Cup, got underway on a glorious day on the Everglades field. Both sides of the field were lined with spectators of polo enthusiasts.
Villa del Lago and Merchant Hub, met today to battle it out in the first leg of the three-week tournament. The Villa del Lago team was edged out of the final of the Herbie Pennell Cup at the sold-out Sunday opening of the IPC season.
"We were a little bit frustrated about the final last Sunday," said Polito Pieres, who plays the number three position on the Villa del Lago team. "We played three chukkers really well and three chukkers really badly."
Merchant Hub Villa del Lago
A Scott Swerdlin A Jim Zenni
6 Luis Escobar 5 Augustin Obregon
7 Marianito Obregon 6 Julian de Lusarreta
6 Facundo Obregon 9 Polito Pieres
The Merchant Hub team started with a one-goal advantage to offset the player rankings. Immediately into the first chukker, an infraction was called on the Merchant Hub team and Polito Pieres scored on a Penalty 4 shot for Villa del Lago, tying it up at 1-1. Then, Facundo Obregon scored for the Merchant Hub taking it to 2-1 and almost immediately Augustin Obergon had a huge nearside fore shot taking it to the goal mouth evening up the score once again to 2-2.
In the next drive, Pieres sent an incredible pass to A. Obregon who put it through the uprights and took Villa del Lago into the lead, which they solidly held for the rest of the game. At the end of the chukker, Pieres converted a Penalty 2, bringing the score to 5-2 in favor of Villa de Lago.
In the second chukker, Luis Escobar slammed a Penalty 6 shot through the goal posts for Merchant Hub making the score 5-3. A whistle resulted in a Penalty shot from the spot, Pieres easily scored and it was now 6-3. In the next drive Pieres sent a lofty shot to A. Obregon, who capitalized on the perfect pass with another goal. Another whistle and a call against Merchant Hub gave Pieres an opportunity to score, which he nailed. At the end of the second chukker the score was 8-3, with Villa del Lago leading.
The third chukker began with a score by Julian de Lusaretta. Escobar responded with an accurate pass to Scott Swerdlin who successfully put the ball through the goal posts for Merchant Hub. But another two masterfully executed scores by Pieres culminated in the score of 11-4 at the end of the half.
Pieres was unstoppable in the fourth chukker. First, he hit an angled shot from approximately 90 yards out directly into the goalmouth. He followed that with two more goals. Facundo Obregon responded with a goal for Merchant Hub, but they had a long way to go to catch Villa del Lago. At the final horn of chukker four the score was 14-5.
Escobar was hot in the fifth chukker, firing off a score, then a cut shot to Marianito Obregon, who scored. Pieres sent another penalty shot through the uprights, then, de Lusaretta took the ball through. The score was now 16-7 going into the final chukker.
Escobar continued his streak in the final chukker scoring three times, but it was too little, too late. A. Obregon and Pieres added one score each for Villa del Lago. The final score was 18-10.
"Today we played with more patience," said Pieres. "It was not as fast, but it was an open game. I am really happy the team is playing really well. We played more as a team and it was a good result."
At International Polo Club Palm Beach the Joe Barry Memorial Cup continues Thursday at 10 a.m. with Coca-Cola vs. Orchard Hill and at 1 p.m. with Luchuza Caracas vs. Enigma.