Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport – Polo. The 112th U.S. Open has wrapped up at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Orchard Hill – the Clubmen as they’re known to readers of Balladeer’s Blog – took on the Dubai Gushers for the 2016 title. In the First Chukker the Clubmen took a quick 1-0 lead off a Facundo Pieres goal just 30 seconds in. As is often the case the Polo Grounds were fecund with Facundos and soon the Gushers tied the score at 1-1 when Facundo Sola swatted in a goal from the field and later made a 40-yard penalty shot for a 2-1 Dubai lead. Adolfo Cambiaso made it 3-1 to end the opening Chukker.
Scoring in the Second Chukker got started with a 30-yard penalty shot from Pieres to make the score 3-2. Rashid Albwardy put the Gushers up 4-2 with a goal from the field but Pieres pulled Orchard Hill to within a goal with less than a minute left, ending the Chukker with a score of 4-3.
Julian de Lusarreta managed the first goal of the Third Chukker, tying things up at 4-4 and his teammate Juan Martin Nero went on to put the Clubmen on top 5 goals to 4 with a shot rocketed in from ONE HUNDRED YARDS OUT! Facundo Pieres notched a pair of penalty shots later in the Chukker for a 7-4 Orchard Hill advantage but Cambiaso scored the lone goal for Dubai in the Chukker, making the score 7-5 in favor of the Clubmen going into Halftime.
Facundo Sola rallied the Gushers in the Fourth Chukker, swatting in a goal to make it a 7-6 match and Cambiaso later knotted things up at 7-7 with a 30-yard penalty shot. Sola put Dubai back on top 8-7 but the Chukker ended with a penalty shot from Pieres, tying the score at 8-8.
Chukker Five saw Adolfo Cambiaso take the opening toss-in all the way for the Gushers, who now led 9-8. A few minutes later Cambiaso made it a 10-8 lead but a 30-yard penalty shot by Pieres ended the Chukker with a 10-9 tally.
In the Sixth Chukker Cambiaso and Pieres each notched penalty shots from 60 yards out (11-9 score) and 30 yards out (11-10 score). Then, with just 3:20 left in the Chukker, Pieres went coast-to-coast for an 11-11 tie. Dubai’s Cambiaso seemed to win it for the Gushers with a goal that gave them a 12-11 edge, but Facundo Pieres was the bane of their existence again, scoring another goal with just 48 seconds on the clock. The 12-12 tie to end Regulation sent things into a Seventh Chukker and a Golden Goal situation.
In that Overtime Chukker Dubai took control of the opening toss-in but failed to score. Both offenses went back and forth for a while, failing to notch a goal until finally a pass from Juan Martin Nero to Facundo Pieres resulted in the latter swatting in the Golden Goal for a 13-12 Orchard Hill victory. It was a sweet triumph for the Clubmen, who lost in the title game last year but fought their way back for a championship this year.
FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S QUICK PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2015/03/23/polo-is-joining-balladeers-blogs-sports-coverage/
* BRING BACK POLO AS AN OLYMPIC EVENT! *