Ghantoot Polo beat Bin Drai Polo to win UAE National Day Cup title - GulfToday

Ghantoot Polo beat Bin Drai Polo to win UAE National Day Cup title


Ghantoot Polo team players celebrate with the trophy after winning the final against Bin Drai Polo.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

In honor and recognition of the UAE's Spirit of the Union, a series of qualification matches took place on the grounds of Al Habtoor Polo Club as five teams vied for the UAE National Day Cup trophy.

The last day of the tournament opened with a friendly game of kids' polo featuring several students from the Al Habtoor Polo Academy.

Team Malaky had the early lead with goals from Khalifa Al Maktoum and Alex Soerensen. Allegra Kelly, the game's Most Valuable Player, scored two consecutive goals at the next chukker resulting in a win for Team Forsan.

The subsidiary final of the tournament saw Ankora Polo carve a goal lead against the Mahra team from the start of the game until halftime. Tariq Al Habtoor managed to tie the scores, but Ankora extended its lead by two goals by the end of the penultimate chukker. Mahra Polo on its tail, the final chukker took off to an exciting finish as the scores settled in a tie. In overtime, both teams raced to win the match, which Tomy Iriarte successfully grabbed for Ankora Polo and ended the game at 6 goals to 5.

The next match featured the Bin Drai Polo and Ghantoot Polo teams. Esteban Panelo nicked the first goal and ended the first chukker with a goal lead for Bin Drai Polo.

The third chukker saw a flurry of goals, with teams returning each goal resulting in tied scores. Ghantoot Polo broke in to a lead early on the last chukker but was immediately matched by the Bin Drai team.

The remaining seconds of the game concluded in a nail biting finish as Ghantoot nailed the last goal and took home the trophy at 7 goals to 6.

Martin Pedersen, Chairman and Jochen Knecht, CEO from International Free Zone Authority awarded the teams of the day. Anil Ramchandani, Director of Kachins Group, awarded Nasser Al Shamsi as "Kachins Most Valuable Player" of the tournament. Facilidad, a nine-year-old horse ridden by Miguel Delia, was given the Best Playing Pony Award.

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