Abuja Almat, Centaurs, STL, Sublime, Aplus, NRT emerge as champions
It lived up to the hype surrounding the moist prestigious competition in this year’s GTB Lagos International Polo Championship.
The Majekodunmi Cup is the biggest prize in the championship and at the end, Abuja Almat defeated Lagos STL to win the highly revered cup on first attempt.
The prestigious polo carnival that pitted over 34 teams and top Nigerian and foreign players left in its glowing trail many memorable highpoints on and off the pitch.
One such glittering highlight was the curtain drawing final game that decided the winners of the event’s biggest prize and Nigeria’s oldest polo trophy, the Independence Cup.
The tense final game that was decided before loaded galleries of the foremost Ikoyi polo club saw Bode Makanjuela’s Centaurs taking an early lead with two quick goals through Diego White and held on till the third chukka, when Maurice Ekpenyong’s Almat responded with two goals.
Almat fought back gallantly to draw level 6-6 in the fifth chukka, but their rally came rather late as Centaurs enjoying huge added two more goals in the dying minutes of the last chukka, stunning their Abuja opponents 8-6 final scores to cart home the Independence Cup.
The Low Cup final that preceded the final game, also produced a new winner as Bello Buba pivoted Sublime team outgunned Aplus RCF 51/2-5 in a closely fought final game to win the Low Cup, while Kano Ibah got the better of Lagos Agad to clinch the subsidiary prize.
But the finest moments of the finale stage of the international polo grand slam that was inaugurated in 1904, belonged to Abuja Almat whose stunning performance fetched them the Majekodunmi Cup after winning their opening game 11-8 against Lagos STL, to clinch the glittering Italian Ambassador’s Cup.
Seyi Tinubu’s STL, who were also pushing to win the Majek Cup title on first attempt, finished runners-up, in a promising campaign that stands them out as one of the best performing teams in the 2019 Lagos tournament that included APlus Renmoney, Carverton/ Saopolo and Lagos NRT.
The first phase of the 2019 GTBank Lagos International Polo Tournament ended with Kaduna Trappco edging Almat Farms of Abuja to emerge champions of the Open Cup, while Lagos NRT defeated Kaduna Tila Farms to clinch the Silver Cup.
Lagos Polo Club President, Ade Laoye, who described the tournament as one of the most successful in years, pointed out that the campaign for Majekodunmi Cup, Open Cup, Low Cup and Silver Cup prizes, were most competitive and the most exciting in years.
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