The 2017 edition of the Polo Challenge in the Dominican Republic is in full throttle and the favorites are starting to arise.
On Sunday in Casa de Campo, the fourth day of the high goal Bronze Cup took place. The first match of the day was between Lechuza Caracas, the team from the patron Victor Vargas and the only undefeated one to date, and Alegría-El Milagro, the Mannix Brothers’ team, who make their debut on the island this year. Lechuza was able to lead the match from the very start, thanks to two goals by Pelón Stirling that inaugurated the scoreboard. Stirling Jr. with 6 goals scored on the match, was the highlighted player, thanks to his superb performance, usual in a player of his caliber. Alegría was never able to surpass Lechuza, and the final score was 9-6. Thanks to this triumph, Lechuza has secured a spot on the grand final of the Bronze Cup, while the remaining three teams will define on Tuesday who takes the other spot by penalty shootouts.
Later on, at 4pm, the game that pitted Casa de Campo and Power Infrastructure took place. Power Infrastructure started off with the right foot leading the game, but after an excellent third chukka by Casa de Campo, with 5 goals scored by the team (2 by Bete Donovan and 3 by Pancho Bensadón) the locals were able to dominate the game. The duo Donovan-Bensadón was relentless with Power Infrastructure, and in spite of their efforts and of the excellent performance donned by Santiago Toccalino, Casa de Campo emerged victorious by 11-9.
On Friday, January 20th, the first match of the day was the clash between Alegría-El Milagro and the local team. Alegría inaugurated the scoreboard with a goal by Cubi Toccalino on the first chukka, and on the second period both teams came to a tie as there were two goals scored by Casa de Campo (Pancho Bensadón and Bete Donovan) and one by Fred Mannix. After this chukka, the Canadian team managed to keep its opponent at bar, specially after four goals scored on the fourth chukka that gave them the definite lead of the match by 8-5. Finally, they won by 10-8. Julian Mannix was the highlighted player of this match, scoring four goals.
The second match of the day took place at 4pm on Field 2, pitting the mighty Lechuza Caracas against Power Infrastructure. This was a very rowdy game, that during the first two chukkas was tied, and as the teams kept exchanging goals, came to a lead by Lechuza on the 3rd chukka. But Power Infrastructure experienced a great recovery on the fourth, and scored three times, while Pelón Stirling only managed one for his team, and the game once again was tied. Later on, during the last chukka the game got tied again, by 9-9 so the teams went to overtime, when a goal by Victor Vargas, who has been having a great performance and proving he is a solid scorer, got the golden goal for his team, and the match ended on 10-9.
On Saturday, two games of the 12-goal category were played in Lechuza and Casa de Campo. The first one was the battle between Pitirri-El Palenque, team that’s steadily becoming the favorite and one of the most powerful on its category, and La Potranca. Pitirri was much more superior than its opponent, and in spite of the very few goals exchanged on the whole game, they won by 5-1. The game between Costasur y Cinque Terre – El Milagro. This game got tied on the third and fourth chukka, and when the fifth period was rolling already, it had to be suspended due to heavy rains.
Thursday saw two matches of the 12-goal category of the Bronze Cup take place. Both were played simultaneously, with the difference that one of them was hosted by Lechuza Caracas RD, and the other one at Los Establos in Cap Cana.
The match played at Lechuza Caracas RD was the battle between Pitirri-El Palenque vs. Costasur. Pitirri was able to take the lead from the first chukka, and always kept a two goal difference ahead of its opponent. Meanwhile, Costasur had a hard time when it came to scoring until the fourth chukka. Even though they experienced a recovery and reduced the goal difference, Pitirri-El Palenque won by 10-7.
The second match of the day took place as well at 4pm, and was between Casa de Campo and La Potranca. This game meant a tough fight for both teams. La Potranca, even after starting off with the right foot taking the lead from the first chukka, was chased by its opponent constantly and at the end of the third chukka, when Casa de Campo stroke twice in a row, they were tied. Finally, La Potranca recovered and finished the game on their favor by 6-5.