By Alex Webbe
It was all HB Polo (Ludovic Pailloncy, Ignacio Toccalino, Pite Merlos and Sebastien Pailloncy) in Saturday afternoon’s opening British Open game as they manhandled an anemic Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Juan Martin Nero, Polito Pieres and Santiago Stirling) effort in the early going.
Boasting the talents of 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero and Polito Pieres and the credentials of a 2-14 Cartier Queens cup finalist didn’t impress a determined HB Polo team who scored the first two goals of the game (a penalty conversion from Ignacio Toccalino and a goal from the field from Ludwig Pailloncy) while holding Talandracas scoreless, 2-0.
Second chukker play was no better for Talandracas as they watched Toccalino and his HB Polo teammates continue to dominate the play. Two more goals from Toccalino (one on a 40-yard penalty conversion) went unanswered as HB Polo shot into a comfortable 4-0 lead after the first two chukkers.
The crowd continued to wait for a Talandracas rally as the third period started. An opening penalty shot was converted by Toccalino as the HB Polo grew to five goals, 5-0. Pite Merlos stretched the lead to six goals, 6-0, with his first score of the game with less than a minute to play in the first half. With less than 30 seconds in the chukker, Polito Pieres finally got Talandracas on the scoreboard to end the first half trailing, 6-1.
Rain started to fall on the field as the fourth chukker got underway. A quick goal from Nero was followed by a goal by Pieres, cutting the lead to three goals, 6-3. Merlos scored the final goal of the chukker as HB Polo rode off the field on the winning side of a 7-3 score.
Talandracas failed to bring any offense to the field in the fifth period. Merlos scored his third goal from the field while Sebastian Pailloncy notched his first score of the game. Nothing from Talandracas as they fell behind by six goals, 9-3, with one chukker left to play.
Merlos jumped all over a miscue between Nero and Pieres as the sixth chukker got started. Merlos scored his fourth goal of the afternoon, 10-3. A Talandracas foul sent Toccalino to the penalty line where he converted from 40-yards, 11-3. Nero converted a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal followed by two goals from the field from Pieres, but it was much too little and much too late. HB Polo scored their first win of the high-goal season, 1-1. The loss was the first for Talandracas in Veuve Clicquot British Open action and dropped their record to 1-1.
LUCCHESE 10, EL ROSARIO 9
For the second time Saturday afternoon a powerhouse from Cartier Queens Cup play, Lucchese (John Muse, Lucas James, Nico Pieres and Luke Tomlinson), was shocked by a strong effort that challenged their pre-conceived superiority in British Open action.
El Rosario (Alejandro Penafiel, Salvador Ulloa, Francisco Elizalde and Rob Archibald) was playing their second game of the 22-goal season in the 2014 Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open against a Lucchese team that had made their way to the Queens Cup quarterfinals with a 3-1 record.
The El Rosario foursome made quite a case for themselves, battling Lucchese to a 5-5 halftime tie before losing in the final minute of regulation play. Lucchese standout Nico Pieres put the final nail in the coffin for El Rosario; lifting its record to 2-0 while El Rosario (0-2) suffered its second consecutive one goal loss (they lost their tournament opener to Talandracas, 12-11).
British Open play continues on Sunday with defending champion Zacara (Facundo Pieres, Lyndon Lea, Gonzalo Deltour and Matt Perry) meeting UAE Polo (Zac Hagedoorn, Lucas Monteverde, Pablo MacDonough and Ollie Cudmore) at 3Pm followed by 5PM showdown between King Power (“Top” Srivaddhanaprabha, Pablo Llorente, Gonzalito Pieres and Marcos di Paola) and El Remanso (Hugo Lewis, Charlie Hanbury, Pelon Stirling and Guillermo Terrera).