By Alex Webbe
La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Jeff Hall, Mike Azzaro and Gringo Colombres) took a little wind out of the sails of the high-flying Villa del Lago polo team (Jim Zenni, Agustin Obregon, Hilario Ulloa and Carlucho Arellano) as the raced out to a 6-3 halftime lead before coasting to an 11-8 win Wednesday afternoon in the opening match of the 20-goal 2017 Joe Barry Memorial Cup at the International Polo Club.
Agustin Obregon opened the scoring in the opening match with a goal from the field at the 6:51 mark. La Indiana 7-goaler Jeff Hall responded by converting a 60-yard penalty shot for the tying goal, 1-1, and added another goal from the field with just 2:24 left in the chukker. The period ended with La Indiana on top, 2-1.
Villa Del Lago 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa tied the game at 2-2 on a well-executed backhander. Mike Azzaro gave the lead back to La Indiana by converting a 30-yard penalty shot, 3-2. Taking advantage of Ulloa leaving the field to change mounts, Azzaro adding another goal as La Indiana extended their lead to two goals, 4-2. Carlucho Arellano scored the final goal of the chukker with just 33 seconds on the clock. La Indiana continued to lead but Villa Del Lago trailed by just a single goal, 4-3.
La Indiana took control in the third while putting up a solid defensive effort. Team captain Michael Bickford scored on a 200-yard run two-and-a-half minutes into the chukker and Hall converted another 60-yard penalty shot. Villa Del Lago was held scoreless and fell behind by three goals at the end of the first half, 6-3.
Ulloa converted a 30-yard penalty shot in the first minute of the fourth chukker, 6-4. Argentine 6-goaler Gringo Colombres (substituting for the injured Ruki Baillieu) scored his first goal of the day midway through the period, 7-4. Ulloa added another goal on a 60-yard penalty shot, but Colombres and La Indiana weren’t thru yet. With just 21 seconds remaining in the period, Colombres scorched a backhand shot through the Villa Del Lago goalposts. La Indiana ended the period up by three goals, 8-5.
Villa Del Lago continued to misfire in the fifth period while La Indiana continued to click. Hall raced over 150-yards down the field for a goal at 5:03 while Azzaro scored his third goal of the day on a pass from Hall. For the second time in the game Villa Del Lago was unable to score. With one period left in regulation play, La Indiana held a comfortable 10-5 lead.
Back-to-back penalty goals from Ulloa got Villa Del Lago off on the right foot in sixth period action and cut the La Indiana lead to three goals, 10-7. Hall’s fifth goal of the match had La Indiana back up by four goals, 11-7 with just over four minutes to play. A dogged La Indiana defense held Villa Del Lago to one more penalty goal from Ulloa, winning the opening game of the 2017 Joe Barry Memorial Cup. 11-8.
Hall scored a team high five goals (two on penalty conversions). Azzaro added three goals; Colombres added two goals and Bickford scored once for the win. Ulloa scored five of his game high six goals on penalty shots. Obregon and Arellano each added a goal in a losing effort.
Tonkawa 19, Mt. Brilliant 11
In the second Barry Memorial Cup game of the day, Mt. Brilliant (Bo Goodman, Jason Crowder, Santiago Chavanne and Julian Daniels) took it on the chin from Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Sapo Caset, Costi Caset and Facundo Obregon) in a 19-11 rout. The Caset boys set the pace for Tonkawa with 10-goaler Sapo Caset scoring eight times while Costi Caset added seven goals in the one-sided win.
Joe Barry Memorial action continues on Thursday with two games on the schedule. Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Peke Gonzalez, Mariano Gonzalez and Tomas Garcia del Rio) is slated to play Grand Champions Polo Club (Grant Ganzi, Inaki Laprida, Nic Roldan and Juancito Bollini) in an 11am contest followed by a 3pm game between Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Julian de Lusarreta, Julio Arellano and Del Walton) and Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Mariano Aguerre and Kris Kampsen).
To see all the teams and results click here
Photos: David Lominska