The anger was as visible as audible in the palenque of La Irenita II. For the debut with defeat in the Palermo Open, a 14-13 against Cría La Dolfina fought until the last ball, but also for a much discussed referee’s decision: a goal awarded to the winner who, on the opposite sidewalk, swear and perjure that it was rejected before crossing the wicker and that, seeing the final score, it was vital for the result.
Facundo Fernández Llorente moved restlessly, Bautista Bayugar complained, Isidro Strada sank his head in his hands, his relatives mumbled rage. All, however, agreed on one point: congratulate Benjamin Urquizathe replacement for the sanctioned Tomás Fernández Llorente, a 6 handicap who had his debut as a starter in a Triple Crown match with two goals and a convincing performance.
“I have the same bitter taste as the rest because we felt we could have won it, but on the other hand I fulfilled the dream of any polo player. If they told me that it was going to happen to me, I would not have believed it”, says this man from Pergamin who had the pleasure of debuting in the most important tournament in the world at 32 years old, twice as old as Bean Cambiaso, to take a specific case. Like Adolfito’s son, who for the first time played with his father in the most important tournament in the world (debut with victory against La Esquina by 15-7), Urquiza fulfilled his life’s dream.
Somehow, yesterday’s number 2 of La Irenita II broke the mold. He had had his first minutes in the last match played in Hurlingham, coincidentally against the same rival, after the red card that Tomasito Fernández Llorente saw. This time he played the whole match and did not disappoint in the difficult task entrusted: mark the talented Tomás Panelo, one of the cracks of the new generation.
The best of Cría La Dolfina vs. Irenita II
“I am telling you the truth? I don’t remember the match, I have no idea what I did, even in the two goals I scored I hit the ball badly”, confesses this player who has played polo since he was a child – “with my father and my brothers in the field, at the Pergamino Polo Club and later at El Trébol-, he only became a professional at the age of 24 and spent practically his entire career abroadespecially in England and France.
The good work of Urquiza, the intensity and fervor put into each match and in each race explain in some way the difficulties that Cría La Dolfina encountered to settle its presentation in the tournament with victory. Because although he was always ahead on the scoreboard, he never completely got away, and in the last three minutes (already at 14-13 on the score sheet) he was several times close to seeing victory slip away.
“They know how to maintain their system, they play well and Benja fit into the team as a phenomenon. It was a very complicated match”, commented Alejo Taranco, the winner’s back. In their good defensive work, in the effectiveness of Diego Cavanagh in penalties and in the perfect use of favorable moments, those from Cañuelas settled down to maintain an advantage that was always short.
Cría La Dolfina smiled at the debut and chewed anger La Irenita II. But maybe, the only one who had a real reason to celebrate was Benjamín Urquizathe man who at the age of 32 was a starter at the Palermo Open for the first time, with two goals included.
Synthesis of the meeting
Breed La Dolfina: Guillermo Terrera (h) 9; Tomas Panelo, 8; Diego Cavanagh, 8, and Alejo Taranco 8. Total: 33..
Irenita II: Facundo Fernandez Llorente 8; Benjamin Urquiza 6; Baptist Bayugar. 8, and Isidro Strada, 8. Total: 30.
Progression: Breed La Dolfina 3-1, 4-3, 4-3, 6-6, 11-7, 11-10, 13-11 and 14-13.
La Dolfina Breeding Scorers: Earth, 2; Panelo, 2; Cavanagh, 7 (6 penalties and 1 corner), and Taranco, 3.
From Irenita II: Facundo Fernandez Llorente, 2; Urquiza, 2; Bayugar, 8 (6 penalties), and Strada, 1 (penalty).
Judges: Gonzalo López Vargas and Guillermo Villanueva (h).
Referee: José I. Araya.
Field: No. 1 of AAP, Pilar.