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Aug 6, 2012 4:32 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

White Birch In Driver's Seat For Monty Waterbury Cup

Aug 6, 2012 4:32 PM

After a slow start due to rainy weather, the battle for the Monty Waterbury Cup got into full swing at the Bridgehampton Polo Club last week, with powerhouse White Birch Farm taking the lead. White Birch owned a 3-0 record heading into the semifinals, which will take place on Saturday with matches at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Heathcote and KIG were slated to face each other this past Wednesday in the final regular season match, which would determine the semifinal matchups. White Birch and Circa (2-1) already assured themselves a place in the semifinals, the winner of the Heathcote/KIG match will play in the semis as well. The other semifinal team will either be the loser of the Heathcote/KIG match or Equuleus (1-2). Montauk (0-3) was eliminated.

Action last week got underway with a doubleheader on Tuesday, July 31. In the morning match, KIG edged Montauk, 13-11. A balanced scoring attack by KIG was the key to success. Eight-goaler Matias Magrini led KIG with five goals, while six-goaler Kris Kampsen had four and six-goaler Nacho Figueras had three. Sponsor Bash Kazi had one goal.

Montauk was led by eight-goaler Tomas Garcia Del Rio, who had seven of his team’s 11 goals. Nine-goaler Santiago Chavanne was held to three goals. Montauk led 6-5 at the half, but Magrini and Kampsen lit it up in the fourth chukker, combining for four of the team’s five goals in that frame to give KIG a 10-7 lead going into the fifth chukker. Montauk outscored KIG 3-1 in the sixth chukker to reduce the margin of victory for KIG.

In the second game, Heathcote beat Equuleus, 13-9. Because Heathcote is a 17-goal team playing in the 20-goal tournament, it begins each match with a 3-0 lead. Heathcote held on to a one-goal lead for most of the first half, but got some breathing room in the second, outscoring Equuleus 6-3 in the second half. Six-goaler Tommy Biddle led Heathcote with five goals while five-goaler Nick Manifold finished with four. Pelon Escapite, a six-goal player, led Equuleus with four goals.

The following day, White Birch beat Circa, 11-7. White Birch held a slim 5-4 lead at the half, but came out firing in the fourth and fifth chukkers, outscoring Circa, 5-1. Freddy Mannix (six-goaler) and Mariano Aguerre (nine-goaler) led the charge for White Birch. Aguerre led all scorers with six goals, while eight-goaler Magoo LaPrida had five goals for Circa. Tomas Alberdi played in place of Circa sponsor Chris Del Gatto in that match.

On Friday, Equuleus got a much-needed win, beating Montauk, 9-6. Seven-goaler Mariano Obregone had a big day for Equuleus, scoring six goals, including three in the second chukker. Equuleus was down, 2-0, after the first chukker before outscoring Montauk, 6-0, in the next two chukkers to take a 6-2 halftime lead. In that game, Belinda Brody played in place of usual Equuleus sponsor Joe DiMenna.

Circa and KIG squared off in front of the Saturday crowds the next day, and they gave the spectators an exciting match, with Circa winning, 12-11. The game was neck-and-neck throughout, with multiple ties and neither team ever holding more than a two-goal lead. The match was tied at 10-10 going into the final chukker, when Guille Aguero and Martin Pepa scored back-to-back goals to put Circa up 12-10. KIG sponsor Bash Kazi scored a goal in the sixth chukker, but it was not enough.

On Sunday, White Birch stayed undefeated with a 14-12 win over Heathcote. Heathcote had the early advantage, starting the match with a three-goal lead, but White Birch steadily chipped away and then took over in the second half, outscoring White Birch, 7-3, in the second half. Aguerre and Mannix each had five goals for White Birch, while Biddle led Heathcote with four.

After Saturday’s semifinals, the consolation final for third place will be played on Sunday, and the championship match for the Monty Waterbury Cup will take place Tuesday at 5 p.m.

All matches are played at the Bridgehampton Polo Club on the grounds of Two Trees Farm off Hayground Road in Bridgehampton.

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Anyone going to do a story about the horse that died?
By rv (38), watermill on Aug 7, 12 9:45 PM
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