The prestigious 2016 MTN African Patrons Cup Polo Tournament came to a pulsating end with Keffi Ponys and Abuja Almat winning the African Patrons and General Hassan Kastina Cups respectively.
The battle for the General Hassan Cup that pitched two debutants, Abuja Almat and Kaduna Amana Insurance team, was an exciting duel that saw 11 ½ goals in the match
Amana Insurers had managed to hold back the rampant Almat warriors ( Ibrahim Musa, Idris Badamasi, Malik Badamasi and their patron, Maurice Ekpenyong) in the early stages, managing a 2 ½ -4 score line at the end of the second chukka of the final
The closing two chukkas did belong to Almat as Ibrahim, Idirs, Malik and Maurice each scored to close down the battle weary Amana Boys and write their names in gold. They won for themselves the General Hassan title at the first attempt.
In the Patrons Cup, Keffi Ponys, who edged out Fifth Chukker at the semifinal stage, defeated Abuja Rubicon 7-4 in the explosive final game to retain the continental title they won last year.
Rubicon came into the final as favourites after discarding Kano Lintex during the semifinal stage. But after allowing the defending champions jump to the front with two quick goals in the opening chukka, their chances waned as the game wore on.
With a 5-2 lead and two chukkas left to play, Keffi Ponys were firmly in the driving seat. The team fought off a spirited push back by Rubicon who closed the gap with two more goals. Hamisu Buba and Wadada hit back with two goals to clinch an emphatic 7-4 victory and retain their title for another year.
Some of the dignitaries that thronged the Fifth Chukker lawns of the magnificent Kangimi Resort, Kaduna, venue of the competition, include; the Argentine Ambassador to Nigeria, Dzugala Gustavo, The District Head of Marafan Shagari, Dzugala Gustavo amongst others.
Speaking at the event, the Event & Sponsorship Manager MTN Nigeria, Dola Bamgboye, applauded the sportsmanship displayed during the tournament by all the teams that participated in the sport of kings.
He further congratulated all the players for displaying the “can-do” spirit during the tournament, and complimented the winners.