2 January 2018 | Florida
The International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) held its first match for 20-goal Herbie Pennell Cup in front of a large crowd to get ahead with 2018 season at the venue.
Matt Coppola of Tackeria played incredibly and grasped the awards. He was named MVP as he was the game high-scorer with six goals. Best-Playing Pony was honored to Lavinia Ventaja who was Coppola’s second-chukker pony is a 9-year-old 15.1-hand chestnut mare which was sired by Ellerstina Picaro and is out of Favorita. She was bought by Coppola two years ago.
The team’s success was a result of factors Coppolo accredited to, such as: Coming up with and sticking to a splendid game plan; having four robust players instead of one main player; always looking for the open man; passing the ball continually to him and Finlayson, they are both 23 years old and members of Team USPA. All the players knew their task well.
Tackeria’s magic could be seen quite early, ahead 5-0 at the end of the first chukker. Hanging onto a four-to-five goal lead, they ended the first half with a seven-two advantage. Coca-Cola then swiftly began to come in action like they always do making it troublesome for the opponent. The score was either tied or separated by a single goal until the final bell. Each of the second-half chukkers were ended on one goal to the good by Tackeria winning the title 12-11.
Every player present on the field scored at least one goal for their teams. The final goal by Coca-Cola was striving and yet amusing for the audiences. Julio Arellano sent the ball on a long drive making it land a few yards in front of the goal line. Everyone hopped into the mix within seconds. It was difficult to figure out who had the ball since most of the times the ball ricocheted between the teams. Ultimately, Sugar Erskine ambuscaded the ball and scored the final goal of the game. Also, it was Erskine’s first high-goal game with Coca-Cola in last 14 months since his injury in Houston.
Tackeria: Wes Finlayson 4 (2 goals), Matt Coppola 4 (6 goals), Jason Crowder 6 (1 goal), Pelon Escapite 6 (3 goals).
Coca-Cola: Gillian Johnston 2 (1 goal), Sugar Erskine 6 (2 goals), Julio Arellano 8 (3 goals), Steve Krueger 4 (5 goals).
Score Tackeria: 2-0, 4-0, 7-2, 8-7, 10-9, 12-11.
MVP: Matt Coppola.
BPP: Lavinia Ventaja, played by Matt Coppola in the second chukker.
Herbie Pennell Cup: Alfred "Herbie” Pennell was an American Polo player that reached out 6 goals outdoor and 8 indoors, He was the winner of various prestigious tournaments and also manager of Meadowbrook Polo Club and Palm Beach Polo & Country Club among others. He passed away in 2000 and the United States Polo Association honored him by naming the season opening polo tournament in Wellington, FL, his memory.