Leighton Kings retain Open Cup as Art Hotel win Oba’s Cup
Lagos-based teams, at the weekend, swept the stakes at the ongoing GTCO Lagos International Polo Tournament holding at the Polo Club, Ikoyi.
Lagos Leighton Kings began the host’s march to glory when they defeated archrivals, Trojan/Ark 8-2, in the Open Cup final to retain the trophy they won last year.
Then came the turn of debutants, Art Hotel, who braved all odds to defeat Dangote/Sublime 9-7 in a closely fought final to win their first ever Oba of Lagos Cup.
Led by Bowale Jolaoso, Leighton Kings, which also has Muyiwa Oni, Facundo Ratamar and Nico Recaife, set the pace for a repeat of their four titles haul with an emphatic 12-41/2 victory against visiting Wiltten Aviation to clinch the Adedapo Ojora Cup, played in memory of former captain of Lagos Polo Club.
On Sunday, the same squad was back in action, outpacing Trojan/Ark, comprising Kayode Awogboro, Kunle Tinubu, Santi Marambio and Lorenzo Larumba, in a tensed final to successfully defend their Open Cup title. Sunday’s win marked the fourth time they would win the crown.
The Open Cup final, which drew many polo enthusiasts, including royalties, top business tycoons, diplomats and thousands of polo buffs, saw Leighton jumping to a 4-0 lead in the first chukka with Jolaoso, Oni, Ratamar and Recaife all contributing goals.
Tinubu and Awogboro powered Trojan/ Ark had gone to the final game hoping to shock the defending champions, but poor marksmanship and lack of horse power were their biggest undoing, as they could not match the firepower of the Kings who are still in the hunt for the event’s biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup.
Unlike the low flying Trojan/ Ark, Lagos Art Hotel, which has the only woman professional in the tournament, Neku Edun, Yashin Amusan, who stood in for injured Sadiq Dantata, J.J. De Alba and Genaro Ringa, were quick and purposeful as they fought Dangote/ Sublime to the ground to earn the Oba of Lagos Cup crown.
The 2023 NPA/GTCO International Polo Festival that galloped off in grand style last week moves to higher gears today, with three teams, including title holders, Lintex-Intercontra, former champions, Leighton Kings and the ambitious NexGen debutants battling for the event’s biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup.
Tournament Manager, Mayowa Ogunnusi, confirmed that Leighton Kings and NexGen team are billed to clash in the opening game of the Majekodunmi Cup series.
Two subsidiary prizes, the Independence Cup and the Italian Ambassador’s Cup, are also on offer in this second week that will end on Sunday.
For another year running, the prestigious festival host renowned and faithful collection of sponsors with GTCO leading others like Arbico, Vueve Clicquot, ChapelHill Denem, BUA, Metro Capital and MTN, among others.