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Las Monjitas, White Birch, Erg, Bendabout Reach Semi-Finals In Hall Of Fame Cup At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Brothers Eduardo and Javier Novillo Astrada proved to be a little bit better than the father-and-son combination of Memo and Julio Gracida as Las Monjitas edged Crab Orchard 15-14 in overtime in a 22-goal Hall of Fame Cup quarterfinal polo match Sunday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

Eduardo Novillo Astrada dribbled through two players and tapped in the game-winner with 30 seconds remaining in overtime to carry Las Monjitas into the semifinals. The 29 combined goals was the highest scoring game of the tournament.

In other Hall of Fame Cup quarterfinal action, 10-goaler Miguel Novillo Astrada scored four goals to lead Bendabout over Pony Express 10-8; Lucas Monteverde scored nine goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift ERG over Everglades 11-10 and 10-goaler Mariano Aguerre scored eight goals to carry White Birch past Catamount 11-9.

The semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday – White Birch (4-1) vs. ERG (3-1) at 1 p.m. and Las Monjitas (3-1) vs. Bendabout (4-0) at 3 p.m.

Nine-goaler Eduardo Novillo Astrada finished with three goals while 3-goaler Willie Hartnett added one goal for Las Monjitas. Ten-goaler Javier Novillo Astrada, who scored a game-high 10 goals, was able to shield a defender away from his brother on the game-winning play. The 22-year-old Hartnett, who made several key defensive plays and set up the brothers Astrada offensively, was selected as the game’s MVP.

Eight-goaler Pablo MacDonough, who was playing with a broken left ankle, sent the game into overtime when he converted a 30-yard penalty shot with 30 seconds remaining. MacDonough led Crab Orchard (2-2) with nine goals while Memo Gracida, Julio Gracida and patron George Rawlings scored one goal each.

Both teams had chances to end the game sooner in overtime. MacDonough missed a 60-yard penalty shot 20 seconds into overtime. His horse seemed to mis-step as they approached the ball and MacDonough’s grounder went wide right. MacDonough and Memo Gracida each made crucial saves to keep the game tied.

“When you play an extra chukker, anything can happen,” said Javier Novillo Astrada, who now has scored 24 goals in four tournament games.

Bendabout remained undefeated as it used a balanced scoring attack to eliminate Pony Express. Alejandro Novillo Astrada scored three goals and patron Gillian Johnston scored two goals for Bendabout. Sapo Caset led Pony Express (2-2) with six goals while Alex Agote and Santiago Trotz scored one goal each. Patron Bob Daniels did not score.

Todd Offen added two goals and Carlucho Arellano, substituting for patron Peter Brant, scored one goal for White Birch. Del Walton did not score. Aguerre now has scored a tournament-high 36 goals in five games. Ten-goaler Mike Azzaro led Catamount (2-2) with eight goals while Carlos Gracida scored one goal. Azzaro finished the tournament with 22 goals in four games.

ERG, which trailed most of the game, tied the game at 10-10 as Monteverde converted a 30-yard penalty shot to send the game into overtime. Patron Scott Wood and Roberto Gonzalez added one goal each for ERG. Tomas Llorente led Everglades (2-2) with six goals while Owen Rinehart added three goals and patron Skeeter Johnston scored one goal.

Seventeen teams entered the tournament. The winners of the two semifinals will meet in the Hall of Fame Cup final Sunday at 3 p.m. at the International Polo Club Palm Beach stadium.

The polo matches are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $10 each. For information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the club website at

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. From I-95, take the Forest Hill Boulevard exit and go west approximately 12 miles. Turn left onto South Shore Boulevard and go two miles. Turn left onto Pierson Road, travel about one mile and then make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the right. From Florida’s Turnpike, take Exit 93 (Lake Worth Road) and go west about six miles. Make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the left.



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