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2011 Tortugas Open Finals

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Ellerstina Scores Last Second Goal to defeat La Dolfina and Win Tortugas

 

Story by Alex Webbe  Photography by Katerina Morgan

 

La Dolfina looked like the juggernaut on the field that everyone anticipated when Adolfo Cambiaso gathered together Pelon Stirling, Juan Martin Nero and Pablo MacDonough for a run at the 2011 high-goal season, taking an early 2-1 lead before galloping off to a 6-1 advantage after the first two chukkers of play. 

The game leveled out in the third, with each team scoring a pair of goals, but it was La Dolfina that held on to a dominant five goal, 8-3,  lead after three chukkers of play.

A low-scoring fourth chukker ended with each team notching a single goal.  La Dolfina looked unbeatable as the 39-goal team left the field with a 9-4 lead.

Cambiaso opened the fifth chukker with a penalty goal and added another off of the ensuing throw-in, stretching the La Dolfina lead to seven goals, 11-4, before Ellerstina was heard from. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nachi Heguy was on the receiving end of a pass from teammate Facundo Pieres and scored from the nearside, 11-5.  MacDonough got the goal right back, restoring the seven goal lead, 12-5.

Facundo Pieres had an opportunity to add another goal on a penalty shot, but Stirling rode through the goal posts and blocked the shot.  Ellerstina fought back, however, with Nicolas Pieres scoring his third goal of the game and ending the fifth period with a six goal, 12-6 deficit.

“They’ve (Ellerstina) got to control the ball, control the man,” offered 10-goaler Miguel Novillo Astrada, and it appears that is exactly what Ellerstina did late in the game.

Facundo Pieres converted a penalty shot for a goal to open the sixth chukker followed by a goal from the field from Gonzalito Pieres.  Veteran 9-goaler Nachi Heguy carried the ball nearly the length of the field before scoring Ellerstina’s third straight goal of the chukker, cutting the ball into the goal from the end line.

Gonzalito Pieres scored his second goal of the period followed by another penalty goal from Facundo, and the La Dolfina lead was cut to a single goal, 12-11.  Nero was fouled in the waning seconds of the chukker, allowing Cambiaso to get La Dolfina on the scoreboard on a penalty shot.  With one chukker left to play, La Dolfina guarded an unsteady 13-11 lead with a surging Ellerstina attack.

As well as the Ellerstina attack performed in the sixth chukker, its defense was up to the task as well.  La Dolfina players found their plays checked and on the receiving end of bone-jarring ride-offs.  Desperate efforts to stem the tide weren’t the answer either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consecutive penalties saw Facundo Pieres convert consecutive goals that knotted it up at 13-13 with time running out.  Just when it looked as if the match was headed for overtime, Gonzalito Pieres took control of the ball.  Teammates Heguy and Nicholas Pieres each rode off opposing players, allowing Gonzalito the shooting lane he needed.  With less than five seconds left, Gonzalito drove the ball through the goalposts for the winning goal and the 2011 Tortugas Open Championship.

A sign of thing to come?  It’s too early to tell, but the idea of La Dolfina rolling over all comers for the coming years has been soundly discounted.

As for the new Ellerstina lineup, new member Nico Pieres and wily veteran Nachi Heguy may be just what 10-goalers Facundo and Gonzalito need to carry them through the fall campaign.