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Orchard Hill wins trophy

The final of the 2015 Joe Barry Memorial Cup at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, saw an exciting battle between the cousins Polito Pieres and Facundo Pieres. In the final match, the teams Villa del Lago, including Jim Zenni (0), Agustin Obregon (+5), Polito Pieres (+9) and Julian de Lusarreta (+6), as well as Orchard Hill, consisting of Steve Van Andel (0), Lucas Criado (+8), Facundo Pieres (+10) and Remy Du Celliee Muller (+2), encountered each other.

The fight for the trophy was a fast-paced, smash-mouth battle and the Argentine cousins were high-scoring machines that regularly carried the ball through seemingly impassable defences to score. For most of the time, the match was very even and both teams exchanged goals. The first chukka ended in a draw, 2-2, but the pace continued to heat up as the second chukka got underway and by the end of the chukka Villa Del Lago was in the lead, 5-4. In the third chukka, Facundo Pieres scored three goals and Orchard Hill gained the lead, 7-6.

The pace continued to quicken as the second half of play began. The ball moved up and down the field at breakneck speed with both Facundo and Polito giving an exhibition of ball handling on the polo field. By the end of the fourth chukka, Villa Del Lago had regained the lead, 10-8. But then Orchard Hill once again came into play and finished the fifth chukka with a 13-11 advantage. In the final chukka Orchard Hill controlled the game and finally Facundo Pieres scored the final goal of the game for the 15-13 victory.

English 6-goaler Mark Tomlinson has played against both Facundo and Polito and had some observations from the sidelines: “Polito probably has the best stick work of all the top players. His close ball control and skills are phenomenal. Facundo is a serious winner and that’s what most strikes you when you play against him. When he needs to turn it on he can. I was fortunate enough to be on the winning Halcyon Gallery team against Facundo playing for Zacara in the 2014 British Gold Cup quarterfinals. It’s going to be interesting watching the winter season unfold.”

Facundo Pieres scored 12 goals in the game (five on penalty conversions) and was named MVP for his efforts. Best Playing Pony honours went to Facundo Pieres’ Shelty.

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