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Tue 24th Oct 2017

Hurlingham Open Finalists Decided

Unexpected results in the Semi Finals

On Day 5 of the Hurlingham Open, Friday 20 October, three matches were played in Pilar. The match between Ellerstina and La Aguada Las Monjitas was an exciting display of the offensive and defensive abilities of the teams, with each of Ellerstina’s attacks being rebuffed by the strong back wall defence of Ignacio and Miguel Novillo Astrada. This strong defence meant that Ellerstina were unable to run away with the match and despite outshooting La Aguada 26-7, their conversion rate was just 31% compared with La Aguada’s 86%. Although the Pieres foursome didn’t allow their opposition many opportunities to break through, La Aguada took full advantage of those they did come across and gave the boys in black a good run for their money. However as the second half unfurled, it became evident that Facundo had had enough of deadlock with La Aguada, and backed up by effective blocking from Polito and Gonzalito, Facundo was able to make several successful runs to goal. Despite La Aguada only missing one goal, it was not enough to secure them success and Ellerstina ran out the winners 12-11 and gained a place in the 2017 Hurlingham Open Final. The other matches played on the same day saw Cria Yatay defeat La Esquina 11-7, whilst Chapaleufu lost out 15-13 to La Irenita.
The following day, Saturday 21 October saw a monumental match between La Dolfina and Alegria, with both teams competing to take the remaining spot in next weekend’s Final. The Semi Final was an intense display of pony power, which for once saw La Dolfina’s usually unbeatable ponies matched by Alegria’s own, who were able to match La Dolfina on speed and agility. Sapo Caset began the scoring with a swift run to goal and throughout the remaining chukkas La Dolfina appeared unable to break away from the omnipresent pink shirts. The physicality of the Alegria players meant that La Dolfina were unable to get up close to the goal and were forced into either difficult distance shots or converting from penalties. For many the 10-9 victory in favour of Alegria was a surprising turn of events. This will mean that La Dolfina will not feature in the 2017 Hurlingham Open Final and as such there will be no Triple Crown champion this year.
All eyes now turn to Saturday 28 October when Alegria will face Ellerstina in the Final.  
 
Photograph: Alegria managed to topple the mighty La Dolfina in the Semi Finals. By ©Eduardo Grunberg/www.imagesofpolo.com

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