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Crab Orchard, Bendabout Register Wins In Hall Of Fame

Polo Saturday At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Pablo MacDonough and Memo Gracida scored within a 76-second span to snap a 12-12 and spark Crab Orchard over Lechuza 14-12 in a 22-goal Hall of Fame Cup polo match Saturday at International Polo Club Palm Beach. The victory gave Crab Orchard (2-0) sole possession of first place in its division.

In other Hall of Fame Cup action, Miguel Novillo Astrada and patron Gillian Johnston scored four goals each to lead Bendabout over Black Watch 12-10 and 10-goaler Mike Azzaro scored six goals to lead Catamount past Texas Polo 11-8.

MacDonough gave Crab Orchard a 13-12 lead with 1:58 remaining after he stole the ball in the corner, dribbled several times and tapped in a forehand. Gracida converted a 40-yard penalty shot with 42 second remaining to clinch the victory.

The game see-sawed as the teams took turns with big leads and comebacks. Crab Orchard took a 5-1 lead early in the second chukker before Lechuza responded with seven unanswered goals, five by 10-goaler Pite Merlos, to take an 8-5 lead early in the fourth chukker. Lechuza increased its margin to 11-7 one minute into the fifth chukker when patron Victor Vargas scored on a breakaway.

Crab Orchard countered with four consecutive goals, two by MacDonough and two by Julio Gracida, to tie the game at 11-11 at the end of the fifth chukker.

Merlos picked up a loose ball and scored 41 seconds into the sixth chukker to give Lechuza a 12-11 lead. But Memo Gracida tied the game at 12-11 with a 30-yard penalty shot with 5:07 remaining.

MacDonough, who played the sixth chukker with a knee injury, finished with a team-high seven goals. Memo Gracida added three goals and his 16-year-old son Julio scored two goals. Patron George Rawlings did not score.

Merlos finished with seven goals for Lechuza (1-1) while Tommy Biddle added three goals and Gaston Urturi and Vargas scored one goal apiece.

Bendabout’s victory gave them sole possession of first place in its division with a 2-0 record. Alejandro Astrada added three goals for the winners. Facundo Pieres led Black Watch (0-2) with six goals while patron Neil Hirsch added two goals and Nacho Figueras and Nacho Astrada scored one goal each.

Catamount rallied from a 6-1 halftime deficit as Azzaro scored all six of his goals in the final three chukkers. Carlos Gracida added five goals for the winners (1-1). Francisco Lanusse led Texas Polo (1-1) with four goals while Pepe Heguy scored three goals and Ruben Sola added one goal. Patron Mike Price did not score.

Seventeen teams entered the tournament. The Hall of Fame Cup final is Sunday, February 29 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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