By Alex Webbe
A balanced Murus Sanctus (Corinne Ricard, Martin Podesca, Hilario Ulloa and Facundo Sola) spotted the 21-goal Sommelier team (Alex White, George Hanbury, Gaston Laulhe and Fred Mannix) one goal by handicap but quickly took control of Saturday’s only Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge match on their way to a 9-7 win Saturday afternoon on Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Manor Farm Field 1. Altered lineups had Martin Podesca replacing Dirk Van Reenen for Murus Sanctus while Gaston Laulhe took the place of Sommelier’s Juan Gris Zavaleta.
First chukker goals from 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa and Martin Podesca was complimented by shutout defense, with Sommelier falling behind, 2-1, in spite of receiving a one goal handicap from the 22-goal Murus Sanctus team.
George Hanbury tied the game at 2-2 as the Sommelier team pressed the attack, but Murus Sanctus fought back. Facundo Sola scored back-to-back goals to close out the chukker with Murus Sanctus on top of a 4-2 lead.
Canadian 8-goaler Fred Mannix came alive in the third, scoring the first two goals of the chukker to level the score at 4-4. Murus Sanctus team captain Corinne Ricard took the lead back, 5-4, with her first goal of the day, but Mannix was in a groove. A final goal from Mannix had the score tied at five goals apiece, 5-5, to end the first half of play.
Murus Sanctus regrouped at halftime and returned to the field in the fourth period determined to take control of the game away from a surging Sommelier effort. Single goals from Sola and Podesca went unanswered as the Murus Sanctus defense kept Sommelier off of the scoreboard again. After four chukkers of play, Murus Sanctus held a two-goal lead over Sommelier, 7-5.
Podesca scored the first goal of the fifth chukker as Murus Sanctus enjoyed their first three-goal lead of the game, 8-5. Mannix scored the only other goal of a defensive fifth period with Murus Sanctus riding off of the field on top of an 8-6 score.
Mannix cut the Murus Sanctus lead back to a single goal, 8-7, with his fifth score of the game, but it wasn’t enough. Sola scored the final goal of the match with Murus Sanctus celebrating the 9-7 win.
Sola’s four goals led the Murus Sanctus attack. Podesca added three goals with Ulloa and Ricard each adding a goal for the win. Mannix scored five times for Sommelier. Hanbury added a goal and the team received one goal by handicap.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge competition continues with two games scheduled for Sunday, May 14th with King Power Foxes (Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, TBA, Gonzalito Pieres and Facundo Pieres) facing La Bamba de Areco (Jean Francois Decaux, Diego Cavanagh, Magoo Laprida and Rodrigo Rueda, Jr.) at 11am followed by a 1pm showdown between the 2016 defending championship La Indiana entry (Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan, Agustin Merlos and Luke Tomlinson).
Jaeger-LeCoultre Trippetts Challenge matches are also scheduled to be played on both Wednesday and Thursday with the final scheduled to be played on Sunday, May 21st.