Desert Palm II defeated at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
On Friday 6 February, the 2015 McLaren Cup Final was played after two weeks of fierce competition, which saw ten talented teams battle for a place in the first Final of The Dubai Polo Gold Series. For the second consecutive year, HH Sheikh Falal Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Ghantoot team (Yousef Bin Dismal, Felipe Llorente, Juan Gris Zavaleta and Ale Muzzio) took the honours and defeated Tariq Albwardy’s Desert Palm II (Tom Brodie, Diego Cavanagh and Matias Zavaleta), 7 goals to 5. Desert Palm II led in the first two chukkas, but just before half-time, Ghantoot stepped it up a gear and although they never powered ahead of their opposition, they managed to retain their lead to claim victory.
7 goaler Juan Gris Zavaleta was awarded Most Valuable Player, alongside his 0 goal teammate, Yousef Bin Dismal, as well as picking up the Best Playing Pony prize for Media Negra.
In the Subsidiary Final for The Hildon Cup, Al Habtoor led throughout; at one point they increased their goal difference by five goals. Faris Al Yabhouni’s Abu Dhabi staged a come back in the fifth, but sadly couldn’t catch their opposition’s earlier lead, losing the game 7-9.
Having won The McLaren and The Gold Cup in 2014, and basking in their 2015 success, Ghantoot will undoubtedly be looking to replicate last year’s result as The Gold Cup gets underway on Monday 23 February.
Photograph: Ghantoot Polo, winners of the 2014 McLaren Cup at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. By Gonzalo Etcheverry.