NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Afrika Aviation edged White Cap Lager 8-7 to win the Kenya International Six-Goal Polo tournament at Nairobi Polo Club on Sunday afternoon.
Captained by five goaler Gareth Evans, Afrika Aviation needed a late goal from the top man himself to seal victory at the death.
The victors needed to work hard in the fourth Chukka where they were trailing by a goal, a brilliant field goal from Aisha Gross made the scores 7 ups before Gareth netted the winner from 60 yards for the team that was sponsored by Raphael Nzomo, Nairobi club vice chairman.
It was a match of the high goalers, Kenya’s top ranked Jamie Murray leading White Cap while Gareth Evans was equally for task for the winners.
The two players scored six goals each for their sides in the evenly matched match.
Northern Kenya based Murray drew the first blood for White Cap Lager. Georgina Millar levelled the scores before Gareth Evans netted his first for a 2-1 Afrika Aviation lead at the end of the first Chukka.
Jamie restored matters at start of the second chukka, a lead that barely lasted as Gareth gave the winners a 3-2 lead.
The chukka was the busiest, Danny Murray scored for White Cap, with his father scoring two more for a 5-5 score at the end of the third chukka.
Nick Millar, the only member from the winning side from last year had his teammates to thank for the hard fought victory.
“It was wasa tough match that was won in the final 29 seconds when we scored the winning goal.
“There was no much time left therefore we were confident we had won it,” Millar remarked.
Going to the much we knew Jamie was always going to be a big threat and it was up to the team to try to shut him down.
“Jamie is extremely talented with amazing horses,most importantly we are friends,” the Manyatta club based player added.
On Saturday,Afrika Aviation defeated Mombasa Island Cargo Terminal (MICT) 9- 6.5.
In the other semi final, White Cap Lager edged Governors Camp 7.5-7 in the pulsating match of the day.
On Friday, MICT led by handicap four player and South African international, Buster MacKenzie, edged out White Cap Lite 6.5-5 to sail into the semi finals of Kenya Polo International Six-Goal tournament at Nairobi Polo Club.
Afrika Aviation, captained by Gareth Evans, also from South Africa, beat Work In Progress 7-4 to set a semi-final date with MICT, whose patron is Gideon Moi.
Governors Camp humbled Ultimate Security 6-2.5 to set a semi-finals showpiece with White Cap Lager, who edged Samurai 6-5.5.
Handicap five player, Evans helped Aviation to control the pitch; both in defence and attacking.
The winning team comprised of Nick Millar (2), Aisha Gross (0.5) and Georgina Millar (0) and Gareth Evans (5).
Governors Camp won the third place play offs 8-5.5 at the expense of MICT. While Samurai defeated White Cap Lite 6-2.5 to win the Plate.
Attention now shifts to the Kenya International 14 goal Polo tournament at the same ground.
-By Amos Abuga-