After approximately 100 days of excellent polo, the second edition of the Polo Challenge in the Dominican Republic has come to an end. The final of the Caribbean Open took place on Friday afternoon, pitting undefeated Lechuza Caracas against Cinque Terre. Prior to the big game, Casa de Campo and HPA played the Subsidiary Finals.
The much awaited final took place at Casa de Campo, where there was more than polo on the agenda. A spectacular "concours d'elegance", a show of antique cars, was also put in place to entertain the public. Then, the National Anthem was sung by Johanna Almánzar, and the final began.
The match kicked off in high spirits. Lechuza tried to take control of the game from the start. Birthday boy Juan Martin Nero scored first, before La Dolfina teammate Pelon Stirling score as well. Lalo James was able to complete a great play, and scored Lechuza's third goal. Santiago Toccalino, who has had a great season, scored for Cinque Terre to end the first chukka 3-1 in favour of Lechuza.
The match turned into a closed buy very attractive game. It was a strategic duel, and neither team was shy in attack or defence. Lechuza was leading 4-2 by half time. Victor Vargas scored, as did Santi Toccalino, and Cinque Terre were only one goal down. Lechuza gained strength in the fifth, scoring twice to shut their opponents down. They claimed a 7-5 win and the ultimate title of the season.
MVP: Lalo James.
BPP: Anastasia, played by Juan Martín Nero.
Lechuza: Víctor Vargas (1 Goal), Lalo James (1), Pelon Stirling (3), Juan Martín Nero (2).
Cinque Terre: Alessandro Bazzoni, Cubi Toccalino (1), Santi Toccalino (3), Nacho Novillo Astrada (1).
Progression Lechuza: 3-1, 4-1, 4-2, 5-4, 7-5, 7-5.
Umpires: Federico Martelli & Esteban Ferrari.
Referee: Martín Aguerre.
On Casa de Campo’s number two ground, the local team defeated HPA 11-8 to win the Subsidiary Cup, thanks to a great performance by Leo Matos (who scored 6 times).
Casa de Campo: Leo Matos (6 Goals), Pancho Bensadon (2), Bete Donovan (2), Fred Mannix (1).
HPA: Esteban Panelo (2), Juan Clemente Marambio, Gonzalo Deltour (5), Juanchi Ambroggio (1).
Progression Casa de Campo: 1-1, 3-1, 6-2, 7-5, 10-6, 11-8.
Umpires: Gastón Dorignac & Martín Aguerre.
Referee: Esteban Ferrari.
Photo Galleries:Final: Lechuza vs Cinque TerreSocials & Prize GivingFinal Subsidiaria: Casa de Campo vs HPA