Balmoral, Eat N’ Go, Kano Nakudu triumph in Low Cup
Lagos Balmoral yesterday defeated Lagos Caverton Sao Paolo at the on-going 2017 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament sponsored by GTBank. There were also Low Cup wins in the midweek for Lagos Eat N’ Go and Kano Nakudu, who defeated Ibadan Eleyele and Lagos Lintex 8 1/2 – 8 and 6 – 4 ½ respectively in the tournament, which is gradually getting to the home stretch.
The Balmoral-Sao Polo clash started on a topsy-turvy note, as Baba Dangote (+1) had his shot off target and Isa Kwame (+3) failed to convert the resultant penalty from 40 yards for Balmoral, who also have Luqman Adebayo (+1) and Kabiru Saidu (+2).
It was the turn of Sao Polo’s hitman, Ahmadu Umar (+3), to fluff his own 40 yards penalty to highlight a tough opening chukka.
The first goal did not come until 12 seconds to the end of the chukka with Kwame breaking the deadlock.
Kwame made it 2-0 with another 40 yarder before Rotimi Makanjuola (+1) halved the deficit for Sao Paolo, who also featured Seyi Oyinlola (0) and Abdulrahman Mohammed (+3).
Kwame was on hand to score his and Balmoral’s third for a 3-1 lead but Mohammed kept Sao Paolo on their heels by scoring to end the second chukka 3-2 advantage Balmoral.
Balmoral, who lost their first match, and would have been eliminated with another loss, were more aggressive in the third chukka. Despite a 40-yard penalty miss by Kwame, Adebayo put them two-goal clear going to the last chukka.
Umar, by his standard, was having a very tough game with no goal scored in the first three chukkas, but he got on the score sheet to bring the game to a nervy conclusion at 5-4 with over three minutes to end the game.
Dangote scored again to give Balmoral a 5-3 lead but Mohammed replied to add more suspense with less than two minutes to play.
The game was held up for about 12 minutes after Mohammed fell heavily, needing medical attention and losing his horse in the process.
The game eventually ended 5-4.
In the first match of the day, Murtala Aliyu scored twice in the last chukka to give Kano Nakudu a 6 – 4 1/2 win over Ibadan Eleyele, who at a point were leading 4 1/2 – 3 in the final chukka.
Lagos Eat N’ Go were relieved to see the seconds tick away in their nervy 8 1/2 – 8 win over Lagos Lintex. Yemo Alakija’s low shot proved to be the winning goal, as Lintex scored the last three goals of the match through Abba Dantata (twice) and Jamilu Umar.