Dollar East/Master Paints lived up their billing by a convincing 8½-4 goals victory against Army Remounts in the final of the historical Borjan Punjab Polo Cup 2016 here at the jam-packed Lahore Polo Club (LPC) here on a sunny Sunday evening.
Despite lagging in handicap ratings by half-a-goal, Dollar East/Master Paints continued their splendid form, kept struggling Army Remounts under pressure and downed them in a highly-entertaining polo encounter.
Juan Cruz Losada and Hamza Mawaz Khan were the major warrior for the winning side who both hit four goals each albeit two of them were converted on 30-yard penalty hit while the rest were field goals.
Both the finalists displayed excellent stick work and pumped in two goals each to finish the first chukker at 2-2. High-flying Hamza Mawaz hammered tremendous two for the winners while George Meyrick and Major Omer Minhas collected one goal for the losing side.
Dollar East/Master Paints led the second chukker convincingly by 5-2. It was once again uncatchable Hamza Mawaz who continued in his good form and hit two goals while Argentinean Losada hit a field goal after a long chase to strengthen his team’s position. The third chukker was evenly poised as one goal each from both the sides to make it 6-3. George Meyrick gathered one for the losing side while Loasada contributed one in the winners’ total tally.
Unstoppable Losada maintained his sublime form in the fourth and last chukker and thwarted two tremendous field goals to further improve his team’s lead to 8-3 while George and Maj Gen Isfandiyar Pataudi hit one goal apiece for Army Remounts but it was too little late as when the final hooter was blown, Dollar East/Master Paints were obvious winner with 8½-5 lead.
The final was officiated by Englishmen as Howard Smith and Ben Turner were field umpires while Max Charlton was referee.
Earlier in the subsidiary final, Pedro Zacharias’ phenomenal stick work and amazing individual performance made the day for Barry’s who routed spirited Master Paints/Habib Metro 6-3 to secure the third position.
Pedro Zacharias (2), Shah Shamyl Alam (1) and Naveed Sheikh (1) hit five goals in the first two chukkers to give Barry’s an unassailable 5-0 lead which was reduced by Pedro Guiterrez 5-2 before the end of the second chukker.
In the third and fourth chukkers, Pedro Zacharias hammered two dazzling goals to further solidify his team’s lead to 6-2 while in the dying moment of the classification match, Pedro Guiterrez converted a goal off 30-yard penalty hit to reduce the lead to 6-3. Howard Smith and Ben Turner supervised the match as field umpires.
Later, chief guest Lahore Transport Company (LTC) chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, along with LPC president Irfan Ali Hyder, gave away prizes to the winners. Ali Dar of Dollar East, PPA chairman Gen Isfandiyar Khan Ptaudi, executive committee members Agha Najeeb, Ali Malik, Saqib Khan Khakwani, LPC secretary Col ® Shoaib Aftab, and a large number of polo enthusiast were also present on the occasion.
Talking to media after winning the historical Punjab Polo Cup, delighted Sufi Farooq said: “I am really grateful to Almighty for this great honour of lifting the historical Punjab Polo Cup. Our team combination and horses were outstanding throughout the tournament and that’s the main reason behind our title triumph.”
“It was our day which was made further fortunate with the fabulous and phenomenal mallot work by man-of-the-match Juan Cruz Losada and high-flying Hamza Mawaz Khan. Winning National Open Polo title is our ultimate target for which we are geared up and put our all-out efforts to clinch it,” he added.