By Alex Webbe
Enigma (Jerome Wirth, Jeff Hall, Matias MacDonough and Carlucho Arellano) scored the opening win of the 2016 Joe Barry memorial Cup at the International Polo Club Saturday afternoon, riding past La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Joao Paulo Ganon, Ruki Baillieu and Tommy Biddle), 12-9, in a game that was tied five times in the opening four chukkers.
Jeff Hall scored the first goal of the game in the opening 18 seconds of the first chukker to give Enigma the 1-0 lead. Joao Ganon tied it at 1-1 with his first goal of the game just a minute later, and gave La Indiana the lead, 2-1, with a second goal from the field. Pablo MacDonough leveled the score at 2-2 at the 3:02 mark of the chukker but a final goal from Australian 7-goaler Ruki Baillieu ended the period with La Indiana in the lead, 3-2.
Both defenses held firm in the second chukker. Ganon stretched the La Indiana lead to two goals, 4-2, in the opening minute of play with both teams battling through the scoreless balance of the period. After two chukkers it was La Indiana on top, 4-2.
MacDonough converted a 60-yard penalty shot that cut the La Indiana lead to a single goal, 4-3, with Hall tying the game. La Indiana team captain Michael Bickford got the lead back for his team with a goal from the field that had Enigma trailing, 5-4 at the end of the first half.
MacDonough tied the game at 5-5 with a goal from the field in the first three minutes of the fourth chukker, and carried them to the lead, 6-5 with a 30-yard penalty conversion. Bickford scored the final goal of the chukker with under a minute on the clock to deadlock the game at 6-6.
Consecutive goals from MacDonough and Carlucho Arellano had Enigma in front by two goals, 8-6. Baillieu cut the Enigma lead back to a single goal, 8-7, but Hall scored the final goal of the period for a two goal, 9-7 Enigma advantage.
Bickford opened the final chukker of the game with his third goal of the day, bringing La Indiana to within a goal of the lead, 9-8. Arellano put Enigma up by two goals, 10-8 at the 4:44 mark. Ganon cut the Enigma lead back to one, 10-9, with his fourth goal on the day, but that was where the rally fell short. Arellano added his second goal of the chukker with 2:57 left to play, 11-9, and slammed the door on La Indiana with his final goal of the day with 51 seconds left in regulation play, 12-9.
MacDonough led all scoring with five goals. Arellano scored four times and Hall added three goals for the win. Ganon set the offensive pace for La Indiana with four goals. Bickford was credited with three goals and Baillieu scored twice in the loss.
Coca-Cola 12, Tonkawa 8
In the second match of the day, Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sugar Erskine, Julio Arellano and Steve Krueger) recorded their third straight win of the 2016 season with a 12-8 win over Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalo Deltour, Sebastian Merlos and Mason Wroe). Coca-Cola won the season opening Pennell Cup by defeating Enigma and Villa del Lago. Their opening victory of the Joe Barry memorial Cup has them at 3-0 on the season and looking like the team to beat in the early goings.
American 8-goaler Julio Arellano converted a 30-yard penalty shot in the opening 30 seconds of play as Coca-Cola took the early lead, 1-0. Teammate Gillian Johnston made it 2-0 with 4:40 left in the period. Sebastian Merlos cut the lead back to a single goal, 2-1 with a penalty goal of his own. Arellano extended the Coca-Cola lead back to two goals, 3-1, with a goal from the field with Merlos scoring the final goal of the chukker on a 150 yard run to trail, 3-2 after the first period.
Steve Krueger and Gonzalo Deltour traded goals in the second chukker with Coca-Cola maintaining the advantage, 4-3. Arellano put Coca-Cola up by two, 5-3with Tonkawa team captain, Jeff Hildebrand cutting the lead back to a single goal, 5-4 just a minute later. A goal from the field from Arellano and a foul against Tonkawa and Penalty 1, which awarded Coca-Cola a goal, ended the second period with Tonkawa falling behind by three goals, 7-4.
Both defenses stiffened in the third chukker and goals were hard to come by. The pace was brisk with Sugar Erskine scoring his first goal of the game, adding to the Coca-Cola lead, 8-4. Two minutes later Gonzalo Deltour got on the scoreboard for the only other goal of the period with Coca-Cola riding off the field at the end of the first half with a three goal edge, 8-5.
Erskine found himself on the scoring end of a pass in the opening 30 seconds of the fourth period that had Coca-Cola ahead by four goals, 9-5. Hildebrand responded with a goal at the 3:39 mark, 9-6, with Arellano closing out the chukker by executing an impressive 70-yard neck-shot that had Coca-Cola in front by four goals, 10-6.
Deltour opened the fifth period with a 40-yard penalty conversion that brought Tonkawa within three goals of the lead, 10-7. Krueger and Merlos swapped goals that kept Coca-Cola in front, 11-8 with 5:51 on the clock. Arellano scored a final goal for Coca-Cola as they rode off the field leading by four goals, 12-8.
The quick pace continued into the sixth and final chukker, but scoring was at a premium. Coca-Cola continued to press the attack with Tonkawa responding in kind. The teams raced up and down the field with Tonkawa missing on several scoring opportunities. At the end of the sixth and final period neither team had added a goal as Coca-Cola celebrated the 12-8 victory.
Arellano was credited with a game-high six goals on the day. Erskine and Krueger added two goals each with Johnston scoring her only goal of the game from the field. Merlos and Deltour led the Tonkawa effort with three goals apiece. Hildebrand added two goals in the loss.
Joe Barry Memorial Cup action continues on Sunday, January 9th with three games on the calendar. In a 10am game Audi - Millarville (Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Julian Mannix and Freddie Mannix), will face the 2015 defending Joe Barry Memorial Cup champion, Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Polito Pieres, Peke Gonzalez and Lucas Criado). A noon contest will feature Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Roberto Zedda, Santi Torres and Santi Chavanne) and Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Carlos Gracida, Diego Cavanagh and Alejo Taranco), with Leo Mandelbaum filling in for Dubai patron Rashid Albwardy. The 3pm game wills see Villa del Lago (Jim Zenni, Guille Aguero, Hilario Ulloa and Agustin Obregon) face off against Palm Beach Illustrated (Nacho Badiola, Jared Zenni, Facundo Obregon and Jesse Bray).
International Polo Club is located at 3667 120th Avenue in Wellington. For more information about the IPC, tournament information or tickets, call 561-282-5334 or visit InternationalPoloClub.com.