By Onukogu Kanayochuqu Jubal
Thirteen teams are currently jostling for two trophies at the 10th edition of the African Patrons Cup polo tournament which got underway on Monday at the Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club, Kaduna.
Ten teams are drawn for the medium- goal General Hassan Cup, whereas three teams are locked in the high- goal Patrons Cup. The tournament, which has lent it’s voice to the fight against breast cancer, especially in Northern Nigeria,galloped off on Monday, with Abuja Almat (Idi Badamasi, Tijani Aliyu, Nura Suleiman and Rabiu Mohammed) launching their title defence of the medium-goal General Hassan Cup in impressive style, with a 7-1 1/2 victory over Dokaji Farms (Haliru Jika, Hussaiini Ahmadu, Ahmed Sodangi and Ibrahim Babangida). Four goals in the last chukka crushed any hopes of a possible come-back by the farmers, who were chasing the game from the the start, despite their handicap goal advantage.
The second game of the tournament was a keen affair between GWG Oil (Abdulsamad Rabiu, Sadiq Rabiu, Murtala Aliyu, Kabiru Saidu) and Golding 36 (Ahmad Sada, Buhari Mahdi, Hassan Ramalan and Hamisu Buba). The encounter was deadlocked at 3-3 after 2 chukkas and remained scoreless after the 3rd.
With all to play for in the final chukka, Murtala Aliyu’s early goal for GWG was promptly cancelled by Hamisu Buba who also scored a late winner for Golding 36 to take the match 5-4.
Day 2 of the tournament saw Polo ace Bello Buba pivot Dattaku (Ahmed Aminu, Hadi Muttallab, Bello Buba, Danjuma Abdullahi) to overwhelm Dogonyaro (Ibrahim Hashim, Ali Kashef, Andullahi Tijani Hashim and Kabiru Mohammed) 7- 3 1/2 in the first match. Dogonyaro registered their first goal in the General Hassan cup battle only in the 3rd chukka through Egyptian Airline pilot Aly Kashef, who went on to score two more goals to ensure a more respectable scoreline.
In the Match of the day, Team Kangimi II (Yahaya Atta, Lawal Mohammed, Diego White and Daniel Garba)’s Argentine star Diego White was expected to dominate the sizzling encounter against STL Titans (Tata Ali, Sheyi Tinubu, Ibrahim Musa Dantalab and Khalifa Maitashi), but he got as good as he gave by a very dogged and determined opposition. With Tata Ali spear-heading the Titans’ attack and matching Diego goal for goal, Kangimi was pinned back from the first Chukka and forced to chase the game till the end as STL won 6 1/2 – 5
The 2017 African Patrons Cup is powered by First Bank Private Banking and MRS Oil & Gas. The week-long tournament ends on Sunday 15th October.