CARPINTERIA, CA –Jeff Hall and Team Lucchese (3-2) came up short of the title match after being upset by Klentner Ranch (3-2) in the semi-finals of the 2019 Farmers & Merchants Bank America Cup.
After winning the first match of the tournament in a rematch with the Silver Cup Champion FMB Too!, Team Lucchese matched up with Sol de Agosto in their second game. Sol de Agosto began the game with impressive field goals, but Lucchese kept the score close with their accuracy from the penalty line. After half time, Lucchese came back strong and decreased the gap to 7-4. Sol de Agosto kept their composure with Paco de Narvaez nailing five penalty conversions in the fifth and sixth chukkers. Nonetheless, Lucchese kept their team together, coming out on top with a final score 11-10.
In game 3, Facundo Obregon put the first goal on the board from the field for Lucchese against Klentner Ranch. Due to an injury, Justin Klentner sat down in the third chukker and was replaced by his son, Jake Klentner. The score remained close throughout the first half until Lucchese began to pull away in the fourth chukker. Two goals by Jeff Hall allowed Lucchese to take the lead 9-7. Klentner Ranch fought back in the fifth chukker with goals from Jesse Bray, Tomas Alberdi, and Klentner. However, it was not enough to close the gap. Lucchese guaranteed their spot in the semifinals with a narrow 12-11 victory.
Despite losing to the hosts and eventual champions, Farmers & Merchants Bank (5-0), Lucchese came out of Bracket 1 to secure a spot in the semi-finals with Klentner Ranch. The rematch did not prove kind to the home team, however, as Lucchese dropped the rematch, 12-10.
Farmers & Merchants Bank completed the sweep of the tournament with a highly competitive 10-9 match over Klentner. This makes 4 America Cup championships for the hosts out of the last 5 years.
Next up for Team Lucchese is the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open that begins next week at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.