Los Banditos Steal 20th Annual Polo Skins Match0

Posted on April 2nd, 2014 in News, Uncategorized

Dave Dollinger’s Los Banditos polo team came into the 20th annual Skins Tournament –  fresh off their victory in the Jason Memorial – as the favorites and certainly appeared to be up to the task as they breezed through the qualifiers with a perfect record. Their opponent in the Sunday afternoon final would be another team with a perfect record out of the preliminaries – John Rooney and his Northern Blizzard invaders.

The Bandit’s lineup for the final – worth $5000 per chukker –  would be a little different as Craig Steinke suited up for the always busy Dollinger and Jake Devane would once again step in for the, once again, unavailable Chad Bowman. The strong duo of Mariano Fassetta and Jesse Bray filled out the card. The Rooney group would remain unchanged with Rooney, Joe Henderson, Juan Curbello, and Tim Rudy mounting up.

The first $5000 period saw the Bandits jump out to a quick lead as Devane – much like his start in the Jason – grabbed a Fassetta pass at the initial throw-in and run easily to score. Fassetta himself scored a pair after that and the first ‘skin’ was in possession of Dollinger’s bunch by a count of 3 – 0.

The Bandits kept the pressure on in the early part of the second as Bray counted his first of the afternoon. Northern Blizzard, however, recovered as Henderson and Curbelo counted markers of their own and the Rooney group took the second award with a 2 – 1 ‘victory’.

After two very fast chukkers, the third slowed down considerably as the teams traded goals. Bray started with a penalty three conversion and Henderson counted from the field. Bray then scored another free-throw from 40 yards and Henderson replied again – this time on a text book penalty four strike. With the tie score of 2 – 2, the first carryover of the afternoon was created and the half ended with each team taking $5000.00. The game score – the winner of which would receive the Richard Roenisch bronzes – at this point was 6 – 4 to favor Los Banditos.

With the carryover from the third period, the fourth would be played for $10,000. Fassetta scored his third of the day, on a perfect setup from Bray, who then counted his fourth and the $10,000 available now belonged to the Bandits. They were also in control of the overall game score by a count of 8 – 4.

The Canadian cold air raged in the penultimate stanza as the Rooney oil workers took control and struck for four unanswered goals. Rooney himself scored twice as Curbelo and Rudy grabbed one each. Northern Blizzard was back in it with the $5,000 royalty and trailed by only that amount with one ‘game’ left. The overall count was now tied at eight.

Los Banditos came back in the final frame as Fassetta – again set up by Bray – scored two quick goals before Rooney scored again for his group. Unfortunately that was it for the invaders from the north as Fassetta notched another and the final chukker went to Los Banditos by a count of 3 – 1, and gave the Bandits the Polo Skins Game victory by a count of $20,000.00 to $10,000. Along with the larger payday, Los Banditos grabbed the bronzes with an overall game win of 11 – 9.

Based on his ability to read situations and act correctly and unselfishly, Bray was selected as the Most Valuable Player and Naranjo, owned by Ron Bonaguidi and played by Fassetta in the fourth period, was named the Best Playing Pony.

2014 Polo Skins Game

Los Banditos 12 – Craig Steinke 1 (sub for Dollinger 1), Mariano Fassetta 5, Jesse Bray 4, Jake Devane 1 (sub for Bowman 1).

Northern Blizzard 12 – John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Juan Curbelo 4, Tim Rudy 3.

Tony Gregg