After the cauldron of activity earlier this week (four games on a day), we now know which teams are still in the running for the 2017 Hurlingham Open title. They are the only ones with 3-0 records: the two perennials (La Dolfina and Ellerstina), along with Alegría and La Aguada Las Monjitas. If the weather holds up amidst predictions of rains, Ellerstina will play La Aguada Las Monjitas on Friday, and La Dolfina takes on Alegría on Saturday. The round has been dubbed the “virtual semi-finals” (because of the tournament configuration there are no official quarters or semis, just the final). But it all works out the same, anyway.
Some of the most entertaining developments this week:
Chapaleufúand La Albertina Abu Dhabi are no longer in contention for the Hurlingham title, which is a shame because their Tuesday game was a swashbuckler. After Eduardo Heguy’s fifth goal of the game tightened La Albertina’s lead to one goal, La Albertina missed three shot attempts, giving Chapaleufú an invitation to tie the game. A late drive placed Chapaleufú inside the 30-yard line in the final seconds of regulation play, but their final shot attempt went just inches outside the goalpost. La Albertina won 11-10.
Of course it’s always a thrill when a match comes within a breath of overtime, but this game was crazy-fun to watch—especially because of the lethal combo of Heguys (Eduardo and Alberto) and their youthful posse, Julián de Lusarreta and Ezequiel Ferrario. De Lusarreta and Ferrario were aggressive forces in the middle of the field, initiating ride-offs and riding more often on “the edge." This was a perfect complement to the Heguys, who displayed their fundamental style of solid passing and good positioning.
After decades of success in the Triple Crown, Eduardo Heguy is still in spectacular form. Team high-scorer with five goals, he converted 4 of 6 penalty shots and shot 1-for-1 from the field. He also won two throw-ins. He increasingly controlled possession for Chapaleufú and helped force La Albertina into a streak of fouls that plagued them in the fifth chukker. In the sixth and seventh, Eduardo often started the Chapaleufú attack, either with a backhand or a nifty forehand downfield to de Lusarreta or Alberto. He was responsible for taking all the set plays as well. As usual, Eduardo Heguy showed them how it’s done.
If you thought you saw the famous mare Lapa on Tuesday at the AAP field in Pilar, the truth is that you did—and you didn’t. In two chukkers Diego Cavanagh tore across the field on “Lapa05,” the fifth clone of Adolfo Cambiaso’s prize mare, Lapa.
Cavanagh was playing for La Dolfina II, who defeated La Esquina 14-6. He made four of his five goals playing his two favorite rides of the day: the Lapa that Cambiaso loaned him for the season, and his own horse, Paliza. Cavanagh purchased the Thoroughbred mare a couple years ago and has played her in England, the United States and Argentina.
He scored two goals on each mare and rode them each in two chukkers. Here’s what he had to say about them:
Paliza: “She has a lot of power. A lot. That’s why I like her so much. I saved her for the third and last chukkers.”
Lapa: “She’s electric. She is very handy, and she gives me a lot of confidence. She’s amazing!” He played Lapa in the second and sixth chukkers.
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Cavanagh has played a clone loaned by Cambiaso. Last year he played some of his “Small Person” clones, and he found them to be almost indistinguishable from one another.
“Clones are the same and they are different,” said Cavanagh. Does that require him to make adjustments? “Not often. There is very little to adjust.” Whether it’s the first or the second or the third clone of the original, he says, “The Lapas are Lapa, and the Small Person clones are Small Person.”
Photos by Katerina Morgan Photography