Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. Polo had already been around for centuries when it was being played by Alexander the Great’s men.
FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE
GAME ONE: ORCHARD HILL VS AUDI – Starting off Day Three of Polo’s 114th U.S. Open was a Match between Defending Open Champions Orchard Hill – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Clubmen – and Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Bavarians.
FIRST CHUKKER – Facundo Pieres of Orchard Hill was back in form, swatting in 3 Goals for himself in this opening Chukker of play. Audi replied with just 1 Goal of their own, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Clubmen going into the 2nd.
SECOND CHUKKER – The offenses virtually exploded for SIX Goals this time around, evenly divided into 3 Goals apiece. The score now stood at 6-4 with Orchard Hill still on top.
THIRD CHUKKER – The Bavarians began to make their move, thwacking in 2 Goals to the 1 scored by the Clubmen in this Chukker. The Orchard Hill lead had been cut to 7-6 headed into Halftime.
FOURTH CHUKKER – The Clubmen set out to deflate Audi’s plans for a rally, shutting them out completely to start the 2nd Half. Orchard Hill, meanwhile, snuck in another Goal for themselves to stretch their lead out to 2, making the new score 8-6.
FIFTH CHUKKER – Relentless on the attack, the Clubmen knocked in 2 more Goals while the reeling Bavarians mustered just 1 Goal in return. Orchard Hill’s lead was now 10-7 headed into the 6th and final Chukker.
SIXTH CHUKKER – This sextant was practically a rerun of the previous Chukker. Orchard Hill racked up 2 additional Goals with Audi struggling just to register 1. The final score saw the Clubmen win the Match by a count of 12 Goals to 8.
Facundo Pieres thoroughly dominated the scoring for Orchard Hill, accounting for NINE of his foursome’s 12 Goals.
GAME TWO: VALIENTE VS COCA COLA – The U.S. Open is still in Pool Play at this point, but Valiente – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Valiants – are hoping to take America’s Triple Crown. They’ve already won the first two events, the Gold Cup and the Whitney Cup, with the U.S. Open being the third of those Big Three.
Valiente’s opponent in this Match was Coca Cola – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Red Colossus – one of the 2 teams in this year’s Open which feature a female player in their foursome. Gillian Johnston in Coca Cola’s case.
FIRST CHUKKER – The Valiants and the Red Colossus went blow for blow and Goal for Goal in the opening sextant. The score was knotted up at 3-3 to close it out.
SECOND CHUKKER – Valiente flexed their muscles big-time this go-round and did it on both sides of the ball. They knocked 4 Goals between the Uprights while simultaneously shutting out Coca Cola to seize a 7-3 advantage.
THIRD CHUKKER – The Red Colossus found themselves in danger of falling into too deep a hole score-wise. The Valiants added 3 more Goals to their tally in this Chukker compared to just 2 scored by Coca Cola. As the teams headed in to Halftime Valiente had doubled-up on the Red Colossus 10 Goals to 5.
FOURTH CHUKKER – Coca Cola rode into the 2nd Half desperate to cut into their opponents’ lead. They made up a little ground by swatting in 3 Goals to the Valiants’ 2. The score now stood at 12-8 in favor of Valiente.
FIFTH CHUKKER – The Valiants ruthlessly and efficiently crushed Coca Cola’s comeback attempt. Not only did they shut out the dazed Red Colossus but on the offensive side Valiente piled on FIVE more Goals. Coca Cola was on the wrong end of a 17-8 score with just 1 Chukker left to play.
SIXTH CHUKKER – With their opponents facing an insurmountable 9 Goal deficit, the Valiants put on a clinic of roll-offs and “mounted keepaway.” They milked the clock on offense while avoiding any chance of penalties when they were on defense. The Red Colossus gamely batted 4 Goals between the Uprights, but Valiente’s strategy kept them undefeated in Pool Play with a 17-12 triumph.
Matias Torres Zavaleta and Diego Cavanagh each scored 6 Goals to lead the victors.
GAME THREE: FLEXJET VS TRAVIESO – Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – are the 2nd of the 2 Polo teams boasting a female member in this year’s Open. Melissa Ganzi plays for Flexjet while her husband Marc plays for Audi, who lost earlier in the day.
FIRST CHUKKER – We move from the First Couple of Polo to the First Chukker of Game Three. Travieso – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Troubadors – knocked in a pair of Goals, doubling the offensive output of the Aviators for a 2-1 edge.
SECOND CHUKKER – Remember “Second verse, same as the first” from Henry VIII by Herman’s Hermits? Well this was Second Chukker, same as the First. Once again Travieso put 2 Goals between the Uprights with just 1 scored by Flexjet. The Troubadors now led the Match 4-2.
THIRD CHUKKER – Travieso and the Aviators matched each other score for score this time around, thwacking in 2 Goals apiece. The Troubadors led 6-4 going into Halftime.
FOURTH CHUKKER – This Match was a tale of two Halves. Flexjet embarked on the comeback trail by outscoring Travieso in this Chukker 2 Goals to 1, cutting their lead in half. The score stood at 7-6.
FIFTH CHUKKER – The Aviators had taken the measure of the Troubadors and now proceeded to rack up 3 Goals to the 1 mustered by their opponents. Headed into the final Chukker of play Flexjet led the Match 9 Goals to 8.
SIXTH CHUKKER – The closing Chukker of Day Three saw the Aviators remain undefeated in Pool Play, matching Valiente. Flexjet scored 2 more Goals and Travieso just 1, earning the Aviators an 11-9 victory.
All 8 players on the Grounds scored at least 1 Goal in this Match, with Flexjet’s Gonzalo Pieres notching 4 Goals to lead his team.
Pool Play resumes on Wednesday with 3 more Matches.
* BRING BACK POLO AS AN OLYMPIC EVENT! *