Crestview may have been saving their horses for Sunday’s game, but it was hard to tell that from the last chukker of Friday afternoon’s contest.
The match at Crestview against Foxdale Equine/Myco served as a preview of Sunday’s final of the New Bridge USPA Pete Bostwick Memorial 12-goal.
However, Crestview found themselves facing an immediate three goal deficit before the opening bowl-in because of the handicap differential. Had the game been played earlier in the tournament, Crestview may not have had to climb out of as deep of a hole, but Pedro Manion’s handicap was changed during the course of the tournament, being raised from 0 to 2-goals as a result of the Monster Rule, making Crestview a 14-goal team.
And, even with the handicap change, the differential and circumstances didn’t seem to have much bearing on the way Crestview started, as Santi Torres scored from the opening bowl-in. Foxdale Equine/Myco rose to the occasion, and took their game to another level, with Hugh Worsham converting a penalty no. 2, and the slick stick work of Julian Daniels provided Foxdale Equine/Myco with a four goal cushion.
But, with Sunday’s final looming, neither team could become too comfortable and over confident. Crestview’s Santi Torres went in uncontested as he scored consecutive goals from the field, the only goals of the second chukker.
Alan Meeker showcased his perseverance in the third chukker, scoring from the field to reduce the margin to one goal. Foxdale Equine/Myco’s response was Joe Meyer finishing a play started by Julian Daniels. However, the quick reflexes of Pelon Escapite, the one that urges a player to stop and consider his options, saw him steal the ball in front of the goal mouth and bury the ball between the uprights. Joe Meyer would cap the first half scoring with his second goal from the field.
“We were saving our horses, and we wanted to get them moving, so we’ll be prepared for Sunday,” said Escapite. “We’ll have to come out on our good horses at the beginning of the game to make up for the handicap differential. The string of horses you have, provide you with that confidence, so, you have to have a good start.”
The three goal margin enjoyed by Foxdale Equine/Myco took on added significance early in the second half as Hugh Worsham scored from 80 yards out. But, Crestview did their best to lessen the padding as Pelon Escapite scored consecutive goals. Joe Meyer’s 30-yard penalty conversion late in the period made it 9-7 Foxdale Equine/Myco.
The fifth chukker would find the teams trading goals, in what was arguably the quietest period of the contest.
However, the sixth chukker was far more inspirational. Crestview as a group was starting to get comfortable, and they would win the opening bowl-in. It was that same comfort level, building a rhythm and knowledge that comes with playing together, that saw Torres start a play, and Meeker finish it, to reduce the margin to one goal. A successful 30-yard penalty conversion by Daniels restored the two goal advantage. But, it was the mallet work of Pelon Escapite, who at times toyed with the opposition, made it a one goal game. The ubiquitous Santi Torres tied the game from the ensuing bowl-in, and then would make an outstanding defensive play to stifle a Foxdale Equine/Myco scoring drive.
Pedro Manion scored the game winner with 34 seconds remaining in the final chukker.
“We communicate well on the field,” said Escapite.
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