By Alex Webbe
A heroic effort by Argentine 9-goaler Hilario Ulloa resulted in a game high eleven goals for Villa del Lago (Jim Zenni, Guille Aguero, Hilario Ulloa and Agustin Obregon) but it was the four young members of the Palm Beach Illustrated team (Nacho Badiola, Jared Zenni, Facundo Obregon and Jesse Bray) that took the game with a goal in the final seven seconds of play of the final of the Joe Barry Memorial cup at the International Polo Club Friday afternoon.
Facundo Obregon scored the opening goal of the game on a shot from the field, giving PALM Beach Illustrated/TechnoGym the 1-0 lead. A Palm Beach Illustrated foul sent Hilario Ulloa to the penalty line where he converted a shot from 60-yards to tie it up at 1-1. Jared Zenni countered with his first goal of the game fifty seconds later to put Palm Beach Illustrated in front, 2-1.
Second period action began with a 60-yard penalty goal from Ulloa, 2-2. Obregon responded with penalty goals from 30-yards and 60-yards respectively, 4-2. Ulloa converted a 30-yard penalty shot, 4-3, but Zenni closed out the chukker with his second goal on the day. After two periods of play, Palm Beach Illustrated led, 5-3.
Ulloa converted a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal to open the third chukker, 5-4, and scored the tying goal, 5-5, on the ensuing throw-in just 30 seconds later. The Argentine 9-goaler was on fire as he continued to pound the Palm Beach Illustrated defense. Another 60-yard penalty goal from Ulloa was followed by a backhander for a goal and a 7-5 Villa del Lago advantage. A 30-yard penalty goal from Facundo Obregon cut the Villa del Lago lead to a single goal, 7-6. Jim Zenni helped the cause for Villa del Lago with a goal from the field, but Facundo Obregon scored the final goal of the chukker on a great effort with just four seconds on the clock. Villa del Lago left the field with an 8-7 halftime lead, but there was no quit in the Palm Beach Illustrated lineup.
Paly got sticky in fourth chukker play with neither team being able to create an effective attack in the opening three minutes of the period. Gringo Colombres finally broke through to score his first goal of the game and extend the Vila del Lago lead to two goals, 9-7. Ulloa cored the final two goals of the chukker while the Villa del Lago defense held Palm Beach Illustrated scoreless and left the field after four chukkers on top of an 11-7 score.
Ulloa scored his tenth goal of the game on a 30-yard penalty shot two minutes into the fifth chukker, stretching the Villa del Lago lead to five goals, 12-7. The Palm Beach Illustrated offense stirred. Consecutive goals from Jesse Bray, Facundo Obregon (on a perfectly-executed 90 degree cut shot) and Nacho Badiola ended the chukker with Villa del Lago protecting a vulnerable 12-10, two goal lead.
After two and one-half scoreless minutes of play in the sixth chukker, Badiola scored on a 130-yard run to cut the Villa del Lago lead to a single goal, 12-11. Facundo Obregon converted a 30-yard penalty shot that leveled the score at 12-12 at the 3:16 mark. Bray scored his second goal of the game to give Palm Beach Illustrated their first lead of the game since the third chukker, 13-12, with 2:04 left to play. Ulloa went back to work and carried the ball down the field to score the tying goal, 13-13, with 1:07 left in the chukker. Villa del Lago took initial control of the following throw-in and headed toward the Palm Beach Illustrated goal. A steal and a pass downfield caught a streaking Badiola at full stride. Badiola hit the ball once, twice as the seconds ticked off the clock. A final stroke carried the ball through the goalposts with just seven seconds on the clock for the exciting 14-13 win.
Facundo Obregon scored four of his team-high seven goals on penalty conversions and earned MVP honors. Badiola added three goals with Bray and Jared Zenni scoring two goals apiece for the victory. Ulloa’s eleven goals led all scoring on the day. Jim Zenni and Gringo Colombres each scored a goal in the loss.
Ulloa’s mount, “Noble”, was named Best Playing Pony.