NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Mombasa Island Cargo Terminal (MICT) successfully defended the Chairman’s Polo Cup tournament after edging out Royal Salute 5-4 in the final staged at the Nairobi Polo Club on Sunday.
Nairobi Polo Club Chairman and MICT captain Phillip Arungah led his team by example scoring on three occasions with his son Omwakwe scoring the other two goals for the victorious team at the lush green grounds.
Royal Salute put a spirited fight led by Natasha Tisminiesky scoring a hat-trick, while Anthony Wahome notched a late goal for the runners-up.
Royal Salute started the first Chukka the more aggressive side going ahead through 19-year-old Tisminiesky who slotted in a Penalty in the second minute of the opening Chukka.
Arungah, combined well with his son to equalize two minutes later, Omwakwe made it 2-1 at the close of the first Chukka.
Tisminiesky, fresh from training in Argentina scored her second of the day, to make it 2-2 at the start of the second Chukka. The lead did not last long as Arungah restored MICT’s lead for the final action of the second chukka.
“I want to thank my teammates for going an extra mile this weekend. Without them, I couldn’t have scored the goals,” Omwakwe, who finished the tournament top scorer with six goals, said.
“To my dad who makes playing with him flawlessly, the groundsmen for the good work, the spectators for coming despite braving the hot and tedious weather, that you all,” Omwakwe whose other teammates were Karim Abbany and Magda Jurkoweicka remarked.
Natasha once again showed the prowess that saw her named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after leveling the scores at the start of the third Chukka calmly slotting in from the penalty spot.
MICT’s afterward upped their man-marking skills while father and son led from front scoring the fourth and fifth goal respectively, therefore, taking the game beyond the reach of Royal Salute. Wahome’s late in the fourth and final Chukka was not enough to as MICT, held on to win the final tournament of this pre-season.
It was the second tournament victory for MICT who had won the Davies Polo Tournament at the start of the month.
The road to the finals saw Royal Salute eliminate pre-tourney favourites Samurai 45-4 On Saturday.
The Samurai quartet of Raphael Nzomo (father) and children Hiromi Nzomo , Jadini Nzomo and Amani Nzomo had won the previous two tournaments Maria Bencivenga and the Soldiers Salute title last week and the week before.
MICT beat Space and Style 2-1 and R.J Polo 3.5-2 to make it to the final for the second consecutive time.
-By Amos Abuga-