ANINI – Down 6-4 to the Kauai Polo Club at the end of the third chukker, Hanalei Bay exploded with three sensational goals in the final period to win the last match of the Kauai Polo Club 2002 season at Anini Polo Field 7-6.
With Ron Bonaguidi absent, and Michele Linstedt substituting for John Elwin, Kauai Polo Club entered the game with a handicap of 2 goals.
The first chukker began with a toss in cleared by Lloyd Ryder who drove a powerful offside forehand shot down the field. The shot was picked up by Max Secunda, who expertly turned play and headed for the goal line. After a brief exchange of shots, Secunda reclaimed possession and headed for the goal line with Ronnie Tongg right on him and the pack following close behind. This signaled the beginning of a very fast paced game.
Ryder and Secunda engaged in races toward goal with hard charging, bumping, hooking and unbelievable horsemanship.
The last two minutes of the chukker were wild.
Secunda took a knock in for Kauai. With the fans cheering him on, Secunda roared down the field to score.
After the toss in, Ryder took control and raced down the field to put the ball between the uprights for Hanalei Bay.
When the horn sounded ending the chukker it was Hanalei Bay 1, Kauai 3.
Play in the second period got even better. Ryder cleared the toss in, got out of the pack and took off with a goal in mind, but Peter Cameron picked up. Cameron’s shot went to Tongg who smartly backed the ball changing the line. As usual, Secunda was there to pick up, but he had his hands full battling with Ryder for control.
During the melee a penalty 5 was called against Hanalei Bay. Secunda took the free hit from the point of the infraction to a defended goal, and with an unerring forehand drive sent the ball sailing over the opposition and between the pylons to tack one up for Kauai.
Later Secunda took a knock in after which he and Tongg vied for control while racing down the field. Following an exhibition of their remarkable teamwork Ryder executed a nice pass to Tongg who scored.
Secunda took the knock in following a toss in that ended up past the end-line. He hit a hard forehand drive. With awesome skill Ryder swooped in, stole the ball, and drove across the goal line to put another goal up for Hanalei Bay.
The tempo increase in the third period. Tongg and Ryder continued their assault with Secunda and Cameron playing admirable defense.
Ryder, Tongg, and Secunda entertained as they struggled for control with impressive stick work.
A penalty 3 was called against Hanalei Bay. Secunda took the free hit at 40 yards to an undefended goal and again split the pylons to score for Kauai.
Tongg cleared the toss in, swept through the traffic, and galloped down the field to split the uprights, igniting cheers from spectators.
Moments after the ensuing toss in, Secunda fought for control with Ryder and Michele Linstedt found herself all alone with the ball, out in front of the pack near the goal line. She neatly placed the ball between the goal posts to the huge delight of the crowd.
It was Hanalei Bay 4. Kauai 6.
In the final chukker Hanalei Bay was on a roll. Tongg cleared the toss in with a shot to Ryder who just kept going wide open to score for Hanalei Bay. Pandemonium broke loose.
Kauai sustained a penalty 5 call after the toss in. Ryder took the free hit – the ball went just wide of the goal over the endline.
Tongg intercepted te knock in, took control, turned around and with a forehand shot split the uprights.
All attempts to score in waning minutes were rebuffed by solid defenses.
When the final horn sounded Hanalei Bay had emerged victorious with a 7-6 win over Kauai.
All players were presented with gorgeous orchid leis and bottles of champagne.