Arslan excels as Diamond Paints emerge Rafi Alam Polo champs
LAHORE: Helped by impressive hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Diamond Paints beat Master Paints by a narrow margin of 6-5 to clinch the Samba Bank-sponsored Lt Gen Shah Rafi Alam Memorial Polo Cup, which concluded here on Sunday.
Besides the hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Jack William Hyde, Mir Shoaib Ahmed and Mir Huzaifa Ahmed also contributed one goal each in Diamond Paints. From Master Paints, Mariano Regal was the key player who struck a quartet while Bilal Haye converted one goal, but their efforts were futile in the end.
Diamond Paints were off to a flying start as they thrashed two back-to-back goals to have 2-0 lead in the first chukker. Master Paints fought back well in the second chukker as they converted two goals against one by Diamond Paints, who were still enjoying a slight 3-2 lead by the end of the second chukker. Diamond Paints played better polo in the third chukker and prevailed over Master Paints by hammering a hat-trick against one goal by their opponents to enjoy 6-3 edge. In the fourth and last chukker, Master Paints made a good comeback and banged in an impressive brace to reduce the margin to 6-5 and then launched a series of attacks on Diamond Paints’ goal, but they couldn’t succeed in converting the equaliser, thus lost the final by 5-6.
Sponsors Samba Bank President and CEO Shahid Sattar graced the concluding ceremony as chief guest and he, along with Mrs Tameez Alam and LPC President Malik Atif Yaar Tiwana, distributed prizes among the winners and position holders. Also present on the occasion were LPC executive committee members Mir Shoaib Ahmed, Agha Najeeb Raza, Secretary Lt Col (R) Mudassar Shareef, Samba Bank Senior Vice President Umar Liaqat, late Lt Gen Shah Rafi Alam’s sons Shah Qublai Alam and Shah Shamyl Alam, players and their families and polo enthusiast.
Meanwhile in the subsidiary final, Barry’s beat Monnoo Polo/Guard Group by 6½-6. Ernesto Trotz was top scorer from the winning side as he pumped in fabulous five goals while Jameel Barry contributed one. From the losing side, Amirreza Behboudi hammered five goals while Saqib Khan Khakwani converted one.