Argentine Republic Polo Cup by Gerry’s: Guard Group/DCC win final
By Tahir Amin
Guard Group/Dascon Construction Company clinched the coveted trophy after beating Adamjee Insurance by a narrow margin of 9-8 ½ in the main final of the Argentine Republic Polo Cup 2019 sponsored by Gerry’s played here at the Lahore Polo Club ground on Sunday.
Taimur Ali Malik emerged as hero of the day with his classic quartet while his teammate Saqib Khan Khakwani also played crucial role in his team’s title triumph by hammering a hat-trick. Shahnawaz Ayaz Durrani and Lo Col Omer Minhas also converted one goal apiece. From the losing side, which had a half goal handicap advantage, Shah Shamyl Alam was top scorer with four goals while Hashim Kamal Agha hit a hat-trick and Kashif Jamal scored one.
Despite Adamjee starting the match having a half goal handicap advantage, Guard Group/Dascon Construction Company played superb polo and fired in fantastic four goals against one by their opponent to take a healthy 4-1½ lead. Adamjee Insurance fought back well and hammered a hat-trick against a brace by Guard Group/DCC, who were still enjoying 6-4½ lead by the end of the second chukker.
Adamjee Insurance against made a comeback in the third chukker by hitting a hat-trick of goals against one goal by Guard Group/DCC, which provided them a slight 7½-7 lead. In the fourth and decisive chukker, an impressive stick work by Saqib Khan Khakwani guided Guard Group/DCC to a very close 9-8½ triumph. Saqib banged in a brace while Shah Shamyl Alam hit the last goal of the final but it was too little too late for his side. Azam Hayat Noon and Ahmed Ali Tiwana officiated the match as field umpires.
Vice President Visa Business Adeel Ahmed and Charge d’Affaires of Argentine Embassy Facundo Meli were the chief guests at the concluding ceremony while other notables present on the occasion were Lahore Polo Club President Malik Atif Yar Tiwana, LPC executive committee members Azam Hayat Noon, Agha Murtaza, Usman Haye, Agha Najeeb Raza, Saqib Khan Khakwani, LPC Secretary Col (R) Mudassar Shareef, members, players and their families.
Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Facundo Meli said: “I am grateful to Lahorites for their wonderful hospitality, love and respect. Pakistan and Argentine have very cordial relations as many of Argentine’s polo players and ponies are part of Lahore Polo Club’s events every year and similar, many promising Pakistani players visit Argentina to play quality polo there. We are glad to sponsor this event and we will continue to support this game of kings and knights in Pakistan.”
Earlier in the subsidiary final, Magic River overpowered Platinum Homes 7-4. From the winning side, Ghulam Mustafa Monnoo hammered a hat-trick while a brace was contributed by Abdul Rehman Monnoo and Hassan Agha and Ahmed Ali Tiwana hit one goal each.