Lahore: Bilal Haye helped defending champions Pebble Breaker beat ASC Polo Team by 7-5 to retain The Lotus Aibak Polo Cup at Lahore Polo Club ground.
Bilal Haye emerged as hero of the final as he hammered a classic quartet from the winning side while Ahmed Ali Tiwana banged in a brace. Argentine’s promising polo man Juan Cruz Losada not only helped his teammates in converting crucial goals but also slammed in a fantastic field goal.
From the losing side, which had two goals handicap advantage, Raja Samiullah thrashed two goals while Eulogio Celestino struck one goal. Both the teams started the final well by giving each other tough time and it were ASC players, who succeeded in getting a 60-yard penalty, which was successfully converted by Raja Samiullah to gain 1-0 lead, which could not last long as Pebble Breaker fought back well and equalised the score at 1-all by converting a 30-yard penalty by Bilal Haye.
The highly-charged second chukker saw both the teams matching fire-with-fire and thrashing in two goals each. Bilal was the scorer from Pebble Breaker, who first struck a field goal and then he converted 40-yard penalty. Raja Samiullah and Eulogio Celestino hit one goal each from ASC as the second chukker ended at 3-3 draw.After the second chukker, ASC Team was nowhere and the remaining two chukkers were fully dominated by Pebble Breaker. The only goal of the third chukker was converted by Pebble Breaker through Juan Cruz Losada to gain a slight 4-3 lead. In the fourth and last chukker, Pebble Breaker maintained their supremacy and hammered a hat-trick of goals as first Bilal Haye converted a 30-yard penalty and then Ahmed Ali Tiwana banged in a brace to win the final and trophy by 7-5.
Nicholas Scortichini and Martin Fewster officiated the match as field umpires while George Meyrick was match referee.
Earlier in the subsidiary final, BN Polo Team outpaced Guard Group/Artema Medical by 7-4.5. From the winning side, Juan Maria Ruiz was top scorer by contributing with a quartet while Ahmed Zubair Butt, Saqib Khan Khakwani and Abbas slammed in one goal each. From the losing side, which had one and a half goal handicap advantage, George Meyrick banged in a brace and Raja Temur Nadeem scored one goal.
Begum Parveen Sarwar, wife of Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, along with Lotus PR CEO Mrs Seleena Rashid, graced the occasion as chief guest and distributed prizes among the winners.