Jane Abramo’s Na Pali Properties pulled a double whammy last Sunday at the Anini Polo Field by not only sponsoring the Na Pali Challenge Polo Match but also arranging a display of Classic Cars for the spectators to view.
The polo match continued to exhibit the rapid play which has dominated all the matches this season, and when the final horn sounded Global Mortgage Group had emerged as the winner of the Challenge by a 5-3 margin over Na Pali Properties.
Jane Abramo tossed in the ball to launch the match. All three players of the Global Mortgage team managed to produce a goal in the first chukker.
First, Krista Hawley scored after taking an assist from Ronnie Tongg who had wrested the ball from Ricardo Villegas. Second, Ronnie again got control of the ball from Villegas, and skillfully escorted the ball through a sea of mallets and horses legs to punch the ball between the goal posts.
Finally, when a penalty 5 was called against Global Mortgage, Rustan Tongg took the penalty shot with a short drive followed by a powerful forehand shot. Ronnie picked it up but was challenged by Villegas, and the two engaged in a bumping duel.
Ronnie was able to control the ball, and in a brilliant display of teamwork with Ron Bonaguidi, Bonaguidi was able to get around and ahead of the pack to rush to goal and strike the ball between the pylons.
Although intense play continued in the second chukker neither side was able to score. At least six shots were made on goal, but all went wide over the end lines.
It was in the third chukker that Na Pali Properties came back with Rustan leading the charge. Villegas was the first to score when he captured the ball from a melee near the goal mouth and hit it over the goal line. Scott Sims and Villegas were all over the field on defense putting heavy pressure on Global Mortgage. Bonaguidi’s shot was picked up by Sims who sent the ball to Villegas. Everybody swarmed over the ball except Rustan.
With great finesse, Rustan extricated the ball and cracked another shot over the goal line, bringing the fans to their feet cheering. Later, Rustan took the ball near the Na Pali end line and struck a powerful offside forehand shot which landed near midfield where he picked it up at a gallop making a coast-to-coast run shepherding the ball between the goal posts to tie the score.
The goal was a show stopper.Both teams came to the field ready for battle in the final chukker, and battle they did. But Krista Hawley, playing the number one position for Global Mortgage, demonstrated the value of playing position in polo.
When a penalty five was called against Na Pali, Ronnie took the free shot to a defended goal from midfield. His shot just missed the goal line by a few feet where Villegas pounced on it. Aggressively Bonaguidi stole it and passed it to a waiting Hawley who deftly tapped it over the goal line to score. Late in the game as players bunched around the goal mouth Hawley’s pony kicked the ball over the goal line to make the final score Global Mortgage Group 5, Na Pali Properties 3.
Teams: Global Mortgage Group: Krista Hawley, Ron Bonaguidi, Ronnie Tongg. Na Pali Properties: Scott Sims, David Speer, Rustan Tongg, Ryan Tongg, Ricardo Villegas. Umpires: Stuart Mackenzie, Kamalu Sheldon.
Polo continues at Anini Polo Field next Sunday at 3 p.m. The public are welcome. Adults $10 per person; 12-17 years, $5 per person.