Dutta Corp, the winningest team during the club’s spring season, and Newport, making its second consecutive finals appearance, will meet Sunday at 11 a.m. in the championship of the Polo Gear Challenge Cup at Grand Champions.
The two teams advanced into one of the nation’s longest-running spring tournaments after opening day action on Friday.
In the first game, Newport (Gene Goldstein, Marc Ganzi, Lucas Lalor, Julio Arellano) defeated La Natividad (Melissa Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Barto Castagnola, Mariano Uranga), 16-14.
Castagnola, 16, the son of polo great Lolo Castagnola, was impressive in his Grand Champions debut. The teenager scored three first-half goals to help his team lead 6-1 after the first chukker, 7-4 after the second and 9-6 at the half. La Natividad started out with a 3-0 lead on handicap.
Newport turned it around in the second half behind Goldstein and Arellano. Newport dominated the throw-ins and reeled La Natividad in tying the game at 10-10 with 2:23 left in the fourth chukker.
The game changed leads eight times before Arellano scored on a neck shot for a 15-14 lead in the sixth chukker. Arellano then won the throw-in and connected with Marc Ganzi downfield, who scored an insurance goal on an out-of-the saddle sharply angled neck shot.
Newport scoring was balanced with all four players each scoring four goals. Castagnola scored a game-high five goals, Uranga added three goals and Melissa Ganzi had two goals.
In the late afternoon round-robin, Dutta Corp (Carlitos Gracida, Timmy Dutta, Piki Diaz Alberdi, Tim Dutta) defeated Polo Gear (Rich Desich, Juancito Bollini, Pablo Dorignac, Jason Crowder), 6.5-6, and Psycho Bunny (Andrew Seibert, Brandon Phillips, Kris Kampsen, Carlucho Arellano), 10.5-7. Alberdi finished with seven goals.
In the other round robin game, Polo Gear defeated Psycho Bunny, 8-4. Seibert finished with four goals.
Dorignac was playing a day after the birth of his daughter.
Dutta Corp has won two spring tournament finals (Santa Rita Abierto and USPA Sun Cup) and two other subsidiary game titles.
The subsidiary round robin game will start the day at 9:45 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.—SHARON ROBB