Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - UAE Polo
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup series began this past weekend with two days of competition as teams battled it out for the Silver Cup - an 18-goal handicap tournament. Things got underway with a pair of exciting matches between UAE Polo and AM/UAE Polo and Ghantoot Polo verses home team, Habtoor Polo.
In the opening match, Tomas Panelo score the opening goal and the UAE Polo team took control during the chukker given their 1.5 handicap advantage and the consecutive goals from Tommy Beresford. AM/UAE Polo worked to close in on their opponent by the third chukker, as Santiago Cernadas delivered three goals for the team, and the halftime scores stood at 7.5 to 6 goals in favour UAE Polo.
Both teams delivered their best game with a notable score from the young Nour Abu Khadra on hia high goal league debut. Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the patron of UAE Polo team, scored another for the team near to the end of the chukker allowing them to maintain their lead. The final chukker saw the Panelo brothers extend their lead and UAE Polo took the match 13.5 goals to 10.
Following this was the second fixture between Habtoor Polo and Ghantoot Polo, and the teams did not disappoint with another nail-biting game. Marcos Araya scored the first goal of the match for Ghantoot Polo however, Habtoor Polo team took the lead by the end of the first chukker, holding on to it until the second with a single goal advantage. Both teams picked up the pace in response to the close margin and were all square at halftime. The game remained all-square until the end of the fourth chukker.
Habtoor Polo vs Ghantoot Polo - Martin Podesta and Marcos Araya
The teams demonstrated a strong defence throughout but it was Gregorio Gellosi who took Ghantoot Polo ahead 9 – 7. But Felix Esien's steady performance and Martin Podesta's goal
reinstated the tie with thirty seconds left on the clock. With a sixth chukker looming and four seconds left Facundo Sola seized his chance and scored a last gasp winner for Habtoor Polo team who won the match 10 goals to 9.
Day two was a one match affair with Zedan Polo taking on Dubai Wolves Polo.
Santiago Laborde of Zedan Polo scored the opening goal, and the teams were at a tie by the end of the first chukker. Zedan Polo had a single goal advantage by the end of the second chukker thanks to a beautiful backhand shot from Juan Juaretche. The mid-chukker saw Juan Zubiaurre score two goals for Dubai Wolves only to be matched by Santi and Juaretche who retained Zedan’s lead.
Zedan Polo on the charge
Habtoor Al Habtoor, patron of the Dubai Wolves team delivered 2 goals during the penultimate chukker taking the team ahead and added to his total with another goal at the beginning of the final chukker. But Zedan Polo was quick to recover with another four securing the win for the team 9-7.