Ellerstina and La Dolfina in Tortugas Open final
By Alex Webbe
Ellerstina got off to a slow start but managed to turn it around in time to gallop off with a 13-10 win over Alegria Wednesday afternoon. The victory gave Ellerstina a perfect 2-0 record and boosted them into Saturday afternoon’s final against La Dolfina for the fourth consecutive year. Ellerstina won it in 2011 and 2012. La Dolfina won it in 2013.
Both teams had early scoring opportunities but were unable to convert their shots into goals. Polito Pieres finally got Alegria on the scoreboard for the early 1-0 lead.
Second period action saw more of Polito Pieres as he battled his cousins for the ball. Two more goals from Polito before Facundo Pieres got Ellerstina on the scoreboard. After two periods of play Alegria was enjoying a 3-1 advantage over the 38-goal Ellerstina foursome.
The two team traded goals in the third, each scoring a pair. Alegria continued to lead, 5-3.
Fouls interrupted the flow of the game in the fourth as Ellerstina settled into a rhythm. Scoring three unanswered goals, Ellerstina took the lead back from Alegria, riding off the field at the end of four chukkers on top of a narrow 6-5 score.
Ellerstina continued to hammer Alegria in the fifth. Shutout defense was combined with three more goals. The Ellerstina lead stood at four goals, 9-5, with two chukkers remaining in regulation time.
Polito Pieres continued to provide the offensive punch for Alegria as they added two goals in the sixth. Facundo Pieres and the Ellerstina offense were running smoothly, however. Three more goals stretched the lead to five goals, 12-7 with seven minutes of play left in the game.
Ellerstina coasted through the final period of lay as Alegria struggled to get back into the game. Alegria outscored Ellerstina three goals to one, but when the final horn was sounded it was Ellerstina with the 13-10 win.
Polito Pieres led all scoring with nine goals (three on penalty conversions). Team captain Fred Mannix added a single goal in the loss. Facundo Pieres scored four of his team-high eight goals on penalty shots. Gonzalito Pieres contributed four goals and Mariano Aguerre scored once for the win.
The final of the 2014 Tortugas Open is scheduled to be played between the defending championship La Dolfina team and Ellerstina on Saturday, October 11 at 3:30PM. The Tortugas Open is the first leg of Argentina’s Triple Crown of Polo.