LAHORE: Helped by impressive hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Diamond Paints beat Master Paints by a narrow margin of 6-5 to clinch the Samba Bank-sponsored Lt. Gen. Shah Rafi Alam Memorial Polo Cup..
Besides the hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Jack William Hyde, Mir Shoaib Ahmed and Mir Huzaifa Ahmed also contributed one goal each in Diamond Paints. From Master Paints, Mariano Regal was the key player who struck a quartet while Bilal Haye converted one goal, but their efforts were futile in the end.
Diamond Paints were off to a flying start as they thrashed two back-to-back goals to have 2-0 lead in the first chukker. Master Paints fought back well in the second chukker as they converted two goals against one by Diamond Paints, who were still enjoying a slight 3-2 lead by the end of the second chukker.
Diamond Paints played better polo in the third chukker and prevailed over Master Paints by hammering a hat-trick against one goal by their opponents to enjoy 6-3 edge. In the fourth and last chukker, Master Paints made a good comeback and banged in an impressive brace to reduce the margin to 6-5 and then launched a series of attacks on Diamond Paints’ goal, but they could not succeed in converting the equaliser, thus lost the final by 5-6.
Talking to media after winning the final, Diamond Paints’ Mir Shoaib Ahmed said: “We have worked really hard, which paid off in shape of title triumph. Although the entire event, including final, was very tough and challenging, yet we played better polo and succeeded in lifting the trophy. We are hopeful of doing well in the upcoming events and try to win more titles.”
Mir Huzaifa Ahmed of Diamond Paints said: “It was a great feeling to win the trophy while playing along with my father Mir Shoaib Ahmed. Our team combination was very good and we also played like a unit, which helped us clinch the coveted trophy.”
Meanwhile in the subsidiary final, Barry’s beat Monnoo Polo/Guard Group by 6½-6. Ernesto Trotz was top scorer from the winning side as he pumped in fabulous five goals while Jameel Barry contributed one. From the losing side, Amirreza Behboudi hammered five goals while Saqib Khan Khakwani converted one.
The prize distribution ceremony was attended by Samba Bank President and CEO Shahid Sattar as the Chief Guest, along with Lt Gen Shah Rafi Alam’s sons Shah Qublai Alam and Shah Shamyl Alam, and LPC President Malik Atif Yaar Tiwana.
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