Piaget vs ERG
Butler Handicap subsidiary cup - Piaget 9, ERG 8
Earlier in the day 10-goaler Sapo Caset led a resilient Piaget polo team back from a 5-3 halftime deficit to record a 9-8 win over ERG in the finals of the 26-goal Butler Handicap. Both teams battled for control of the ball in the early goings, but it was nearly halfway through the chukker before ERG’s Paco de Narvaez drove the ball through the Piaget goalposts for a 1-0 lead. A minute-and-a-half later Caset tied it up for Piaget, 1-1, with a penalty conversion. Miguel Astrada reminded everyone why he carried a 10-goal handicap when he scored on a beautifully executed shot on goal in the opening seconds of the second chukker for a 2-1 lead. Caset added a goal to the Piaget total just three minutes later, 3-1, when ERG pushed back. Piaget fouls sent ERG 9-goaler Agustin Merlos to the penalty line where he converted consecutive shots to make it all even at 3-3 to end the chukker.
ERG continued to hold sway over the Piaget offense in the third period. Merlos added two more goals from the field to go on top, 5-3 while shutting out the Piaget attack. At the end of the first half, Piaget trailed by two goals, 5-3.
“We missed some opportunities in the first half,” said Caset, “but we felt we were getting into a good rhythm and continued to press. When things started falling our way in the second half, we took advantage of the opportunities.”
Caset’s fourth chukker contributions amounted to five goals (three on penalty shots) while the Piaget defense kept ERG off the scoreboard. The momentum belonged to Piaget and at the end of the fourth period ERG trailed, 8-5. Wesley Bryan (substituting for team captain Scott Wood in the final two chukkers) scored the only goal of the fifth period. Piaget continued to hold the advantage in an 8-6 game.
Nacho Badiola scored his first goal of the game in the sixth for a 9-6 lead. ERG responded with single goals from Merlos and Eduardo Astrada, but that was where it ended in the 9-8 Piaget win.
Caset led all scoring with eight goals (four on penalty shots) and received VP honors for his efforts. His 10-year-old brown mare, Viparita, was named Best Playing Pony. Badiola added a goal in the Piaget victory. Merlos scored five times for ERG (twice on penalty shots). Eduardo Astrada, de Narvaez and Bryan all scored single goals in the win.