May 14th, 2012 Add comment
Longfield/Equine Law captures USPA Eastern Challenge
By Alex Webbe, US Senior Correspondent
Jeff Hall led a balanced Longfield/Equine Law (Hannah Buchan, Jason Crowder, Jeff Hall and Avery Chapman) attack as they rode off with a 14-10 win over Pony Express (Bob Daniels, Melissa Ganzi, Tomas Goti and Juan Bollini) in the finals of the 2012 USPA Eastern Challenge at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington Sunday afternoon.
Pony Express received two goals by handicap from the 14-goal Longfield/Equine Law foursome and added a single goal from Tomas Goti in the opening chukker. Longfield/Equine Law registered three first chukker goals, with Hall converting a penalty shot for a goal and Jason Crowder and Avery Chapman adding single goals from the field for a 3-3 tie.
Two more goals from Goti in the second period were answered by a penalty goal from Hall. Pony Express held a one goal lead, 5-4 after two complete chukkers of play.
Goti's fourth goal of the game had Pony Express on top of a 6-4 lead in the third when Crowder broke through the defense for a goal. Juan Bollini scored the final goal of the first half to give Pony Express a 7-5 advantage.
A renewed Longfield/Equine Law team took the field in the fourth chukker, picking up a pair of goals from Hall (one from the field and one on a penalty shot) and a single goal from Crowder to deadlock it at 8-8. Pony Express added a goal on a penalty conversion from Bollini.
Four consecutive goals from Longfield/Equine Law in the fifth period gave then a 12-8 lead over Pony Express. Hall scored three times from and Hannah Buchan scored once. A tally by Melissa Ganzi ended the chukker with Longfield/Equine Law ahead, 12-9.
Goti scored on a penalty shot, cutting the lead to two goals, 12-10, but Longfield/Equine Law responded with single goals from Buchan and Chapman for the 14-10 victory.
Hall led all scoring with seven goals (three on penalty shots). Crowder scored three times and Buchan and Chapman were credited with two goals apiece.
Goti spearheaded the Pony Express attack with five scores (one on a penalty shot). Bollini scored twice (one by penalty), and Melissa Ganzi added a goal in the loss. Pony Express also received two goals by handicap.
Chapman was named MVP while Chica Bruta, a 10-year-old brown Argentine mare received Best Playing Pony Honors. Chica Bruta is owned by Halo Polo and was played by Bollini in the third chukker.
CINQUE TERRE WINS ROUND-ROBIN
In earlier competition, Cinque Terre (Alessandro Bazzoni, Lucas Lalor, Kris Kampsen and Marc Ganzi) bested Newport (Gene Goldstein, Timmy Sharma, Nacho Badiola and Joey Casey) and Ruby Q (Brian Street, Joaquin Panelo, J. J. Celis and Diego Cossio) to capture the consolation round of the Eastern Challenge.
With all three teams winding up with identical 1-1 records, the winner was decided on the strength of net goals scored, with Cinque Terre the clear winner.
Cinque Terre got the ball rolling with an opening 6-1 win over Newport/Tuff Rider with Marc Ganzi scoring four of the team's six goals (two on penalty shots). Alessandro Bazzoni added two goals including a 60-yard neck shot in the third chukker.
Newport held the field for the ensuing three periods against Ruby Q, scoring a 6-3 win. Joey Casey scored three times in the match with Nacho Badiola, Timmy Sharma and Gene Goldstein adding single goals in the victory. Joaquin Panelo scored twice for Ruby Q with teammate J. J. Celis adding a goal in the loss.
The final round of play had Ruby Q holding on to win a 3-2 contest against Cinque Terre with all three goals coming from Panelo. Ruby Q jumped out to a 2-1 first chukker lead with Bazzoni accounting for the only Cinque Terre goal. A single goal from Panelo gave Ruby Q a 3-1 advantage with Lucas Lalor giving Cinque Terre the closing goal in a closely contested match.
With all three teams carrying 1-1 records the winner was decided on net goals scored, with Cinque Terre carrying the day with a +4 net goals.