NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – Defending champions Samurai bounced back to beat White Cap 8.5-8 in the penultimate day of the 2018 Kenya International 14-Goal Polo Tournament that got underway at Nairobi Polo Club on Saturday.
South African hard hitter and handicap five player, Lance Watson, had a lot to show with his armband, scoring thrice in the match Samurai who started with a fraction led from start to finish. On Friday they lost 9-6 to Space and Style.
Samurai, composed of George McCorkell (handicap 3.5),Mbu Ngugi (2.5) and Nzomo (2.5), started the match brightly ,Lace, Nzomo and Ngugi ensuring a 3.5-2 lead at the end of the first Chukka.Chris Mackenzie (7) and Jos Craig scoring for White Cap in that Chukka.
Mackenzie, lived up to expectation and his high handicap (7), scoring the record seven goals for the second match running, but couldn’t salvage his side from defeat in as many matches, on Friday White Cap lost 10-9 to Four Of A Kind.
The second Chukka was relatively even, Lance penalty goal and a Mackenzie field goal show the chukka end 4.5- 3 in favour of Samurai.
Three penalties successfully converted by McCorkell to no reply, so Samurai open what looked like unassailable lead 7.5-3 to end the third chukka.
And Archie Voorspuy mounted a comeback in the fourth Chukka to narrow the lead to a goal. Lance had the last say taking the match to 8.5-6 to conclude the chukka.
Chris Mackenzie could make it more complicated in the final Chukka after scoring twice a penalty and a brilliant field goal as the two sides scrambled for a winner.
Nairobi Polo Club vice chairman made a match saving tackle late on riding off Archie to prevent what could have been a match winner for Samurai.
In the other match, Four of a Kind made it two wins in two after beating Space and Style 11-8.5 late on Saturday.
Watson, who has had professional stints in England, Argentina and West Africa lauded his teammates for controlling the match better and also showing consistency.
“Today was completely different style of play which involved controlling the match more.
“Besides taking control of the game, we also exhibited high level of discipline, that is aspect we want to carry on to our final game on Sunday,” argued Waston.
NPC Vice Chairman Nzomo whose match winning tackle was widely celebrated by teammates and fans a like commented afterwards the importance of the victory.
“I am glad the ride off saved the day for us. But generally we played the match much better from the start to finish.
” On Sunday we want to play with the same intense, and most importantly enjoy the match, “Nzomo offered.
-By Amos Abuga-