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Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Four teams followed the rainbow in hopes of being 1st to reach the pot o' gold in the inaugural St. Paddy's Cup on MAR 14-15. With the luck o' the Irish, the Orangemen defeated the Poag Mahones in Game 1 of Saturday's Semi Finals, to face the McBrown's in Sunday's Final, who advanced over Shillelagh Shenanigans in Game 2 of the Semi Finals.
In Semi Final Game 1, Orangemen (in orange) Chris Fragomeni, Eric Schneider/Amy Garrison and Dan Keating opened the tournament against Poag Mahones (in white) Eliaina DaCunha, Alex King and Luke Merrick. After 1 goal on handicap was assigned to the lesser Poag Mahones at the start, Fragomeni scored twice for the Orangemen, and awarded a Penalty 1 in their favor, to take a 3-1 lead after the opening chukker. Both teams became productive in the second chukker, starting with another goal by Fragomeni, sparking a 3 goal drive by the Poag Mahones, led by Merrick's penalty 2 conversion & field goal, followed by the tying goal by King, but Keating scored the go-ahead and Fragomeni padded their lead 6-4. Merrick came back swinging in the third period with a pair of goals, but Fragomeni and Keating (2) kept shelling, and teammate Schneider added a 2-pointer to widen the gap, 11-6. The Poag Mahones pressed hard in the final chukker, adding 5 points between King and Merrick, including a 2-pointer by Merrick, but it was not enough to overcome gains by Garrison, scoring twice and Keating to advance with 14 to 11 win.
In Semi Final Game 2, McBrown (in brown) fielded alum Hans Chia, W's captain Mia Purdom and coach Minnie Keating against Shillelagh Shenanigans' (in green) Christine/Jim Bowden, Bob Barton/Mike Mangili and Dan Kinsella. After 3.5 handicap points were awarded to the lesser Shenanigans, the opening chukker included a goal by each McBrown to end the period at 3-3.5. Scoring went back and forth in the 2nd chukker, but the McBrowns were more productive with 3 goals by Purdom and 1 each by Keating and Chia, against 2 goals by C. Bowden and Barton who trailed 8-5.5. A defensive 3rd period only allowed 1 goal by Purdom to increase McBrown's lead to 9-5.5. The Shenanigans rallied for 5 goals in the final chukker, 1 by C. Bowden and 4 by Kinsella, but Keating's 3 points and 1 more by Purdom earned a berth in Finals for McBrown, winning 14 to 10.5.
Sunday's Consolation for 3rd Place between Poag Mahones (DaCunha, Felipe Rojas/Peter Jenkins subbing for King, Merrick) and Shillelagh Shenanigans (C & J Bowden, Barton/Mangili, Kinsella) started with a 1/2 goal on handicap to the latter. The high scoring game opened with a 2-pointer by Mangili, who scored again in the period, matched by teammate Kinsella, but the opposition's DaCunha also scored, Merrick had 2 goals and Rojas' hat trick gave the Mahones a 6-4.5 lead after the 1st period. Kinsella lit up the scoreboard with 4 goals in the 2nd chukker for the Shenanigans to take the lead, while 2 goals from Jenkins kept the Mahones close, trailing 8-8.5. After halftime, competion intensified, as the lead swung back and forth with each goal in the 3rd chukker, starting with Merrick's goal to give Mahones the advantage, then back to Shenanigans with a goal by J. Bowden, then to Mahone's with a DaCunha goal, padded by Rojas, but shaved by Mangili to a 1/2 point lead for Mahones, 11-10.5. And it got even crazier with each goal in the final chukker, when Kinsella converted a penalty 2 to take back the lead, but 2 goals by Merrick put Mahones back out in front again until Kinsella's goal and a Penalty 1 gave Shenanigans a half point advantage, then Mahones' DaCunha scored to lead, but Kinsella's final point edged out Mahones for a 3rd place finish for Shillelagh Shenanigans, 14.5 to 14.
Sunday's Final gave the Orangemen (Fragomeni, Schnieder/Garrison, Keating) a 1/2 goal on handicap at the start against McBrown (Chia, Purdom, M. Keating). Only the handicap point separated the two teams after the opening chukker, as each scored thrice, including Orangemen Fragomeni (2) and D. Keating, and McBrown's M. Keating(2) and Chia who trailed 3-3.5. McBrown had the upper hand in the 2nd chukker, when Purdom scored for the lead, reclaimed by a goal from D. Keating, but taken back by Chia for the 5-4.5 advantage. Momentum swung to the Orangemen after halftime, when Fragomeni added a hat trick of goals to Keatings pair, and held McBrown to a single point by M. Keating, for a 9.5 to 6 lead. In the final chukker, Fragomeni padded the Orangemen's lead while Purdom and M Keating fought back with goals but it was not enough, as the Orangemen claimed the pot o' gold with 10.5 to 8 score.
The inaugural Good Luck trophy and Minnie Awards recognized everyone's contributions to the weekend of competition.
View the album of photos by Rod Harris and John Lincourt.
About Newport Polo: Newport Polo is the home of the Westchester Polo Club, America’s first polo club est. 1876, and charter member of the United States Polo Association, offering club member services for outdoor (grass) & arena polo, and polo instruction. The founding members, who hailed mostly from Westchester County, NY, established the club's summer headquarters and polo grounds in Newport, RI where its members annually convened for summer recreation. The original club in Newport remained active until 1929 and is credited for organizing the world's first international polo competition, the Westchester Cup. The Westchester Polo Club was revived in 1992 by President and delegate, Dan Keating. Commonly referred to as Newport Polo, the Club supports a vibrant polo training program continually introducing newcomers to the sport. It is home to the Brown University and Roger Williams University intercollegiate polo teams and the Newport Interscholastic polo team. Newport Polo also hosts the Newport International Polo Series, the popular summer exhibition series in June-Sept.