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Palm Restaurant Invitational

Newport rallies for a sixth chukker win in Palm Restaurant Invitational

By Alex Webbe
Sixth chukker goals from Michel Dorignac and Wes Finlayson broke the 5-5 tie

and lifted Newport (Gene Goldstein, Wes Finlayson, Michel Dorignac and Michael

Bellissimo) to a 7-5 win over the Grand Champions Polo Club (Juan Forero, Juancito

Bollini, Tommy Biddle and Martin Estrada) in the opening game of the 2013 Palm

Restaurant Invitational, played on the grounds of The Wanderers Club in Wellington.

Gene Goldstein scored the first goal of the day to give Newport a 1-0 lead that held up

through nearly the entire first chukker. With 18 seconds on the clock, Tommy Biddle

blasted a shot through the Newport goalposts from just inside the midfield line for the

tying goal, 1-1.

Midway through the second chukker Finlayson gave Newport a 2-1 advantage with his

second goal of the game. Grand Champion Polo Club’s Martin Estrada tied it up once

again at 2-2 with the final goal of the chukker.

Defensive plays kept the scoring low in the third period, with neither team being able to

capitalize on offensive opportunities. A late rush at the Grand Champions goal allowed

Michael Bellissimo the opportunity his team was looking for as he drove a pass through

the goal for a 3-2 halftime lead.

 It was slow going again in the fourth chukker with neither team being able to mount an

effective attack. Just over four minutes into the period, Finlayson scored his second

goal of the game. Subsequent runs at goal by both sides were unsuccessful. With two

chukkers left to play, Newport enjoyed a two goal lead, 4-2.

Grand Champions got things going in the fifth chukker that started with another long

goal by Biddle. A powerful 90-yard shot cut the Newport lead to a single goal, 4-3 less

than two minutes into the period. Bollini converted a 40-yard penalty shot to tie it up at

4-4. Estrada’s second goal of the game came with three minutes left in the chukker and

gave Grand Champions their first lead of the game, 5-4. Goldstein scored his second

goal of the game to knot it up at 5-5.

A light rain started to fall in the sixth chukker as both teams struggled to take control

of the game. Errant Grand Champions shots at goal went wide with Michel Dorignac

connecting for the go-ahead goal three minutes into the final period. Grand Champions

fought to get back into the game, but it was Newport on the attack. A final goal from

Finlayson ended the game with Newport riding off the field with a 7-5 win.

Finlayson was credited with three goals, and led Newport in scoring. Goldstein scored

twice with Bellissimo and Dorignac adding single goals. Estrada and Biddle scored two

goals apiece for Grand Champions. Bollini scored once on a penalty shot.