LAHORE: BN Polo Team grabbed the Pace Punjab Polo Cup after outpacing The PBG Risala by 5-3 in the main final played at jam-packed Lahore Polo Club.
The Punjab Polo Cup, which is the oldest polo event of Pakistani polo, was participated by five teams, having the services of top national and international polo players. All the participating sides displayed high-quality polo skills and techniques throughout the event and the two performing teams breezed into the main final, where BN Team played comparatively better polo and lifted the oldest polo trophy of the Punjab Polo Cup.
Juan Maria Ruiz emerged as hero of the day as he hammered a hat-trick of goals in BN Team’s title triumph while superb team performance came from the teammates, which helped them lift the coveted trophy. Saqib Khan Khakwani and Raja Mikael Sami were the other two key contributors from the winning side as both converted one goal each. Nicholas A Recaite thrashed in all the three goals from The PBG Risala.
BN Team started the action-packed final with a fabulous field goal through Juan Maria Ruiz to gain 1-0, which couldn’t last long as Nicholas A Recaite slammed in an equalizer to make it 1-all. In the dying moments of the first chukker, Saqib came from behind and succeeded in converting a fantastic field goal to provide his side 2-1 lead again. The second chukker was evenly poised as both the sides scored one goal apiece, but still BN Team were enjoying a slight 3-2 edge. Juan Maria Ruiz converted one from BN Team and Nicholas malleted one from PBG.
The only goal of the third chukker was thrashed in by Juan Maria Ruiz, which further enhanced BN Team lead to 4-2. In the fourth and decisive chukker, BN Team continued their good show and added one more goal in their tally through Raja Mikael to enjoy a healthy 5-2 lead. In the dying moments of the last chukker, PBG though managed to score one goal by converting a 30-yard penalty, yet they couldn’t score more and lost the final by 3-5.
Nicholas Scortichini and Martin Fewster officiated the final as field umpires while George Meyrick was match referee.
Meanwhile in the subsidiary final, Pebble Breaker edged out Olympia/Technimen by 6-5½. From Pebble Breaker, Ahmed Ali Tiwana and Juan Cruz Losada played superb polo and contributed with three goals each. From Olympia/Technimen, which had one and a half goal handicap advantage, Hissam Ali Hyder though played well and hammered a hat-trick of goals and Abdul Rehman Monnoo struck one, but their efforts were futile in the end as they lost the final 5½-6.
Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Pace Group of Companies Chairperson Mrs Amna Taseer and PPA – Pakistan Polo Association Chairman, Lt Gen Azhar Saleh Abbasi, presented the Trophy and other prizes.