By Connie Makokha
Samsung Curve (James Murray 4.5, Henry Limb 2, Phillip Arungah 2 and Phillou Salle 1.5) beat Royale Salute (Craig Millar 3, Archie Voorspury 2.5, Mbugua Mgugi 2 and Izzy Parsons 1.5) 17-16 to win the 2016 the Samsung Electronics East Africa-sponsored Lord Cranworth Cup on Sunday at the Nairobi Polo Club.
The two teams played each other over three days where Samsung Curve won twice. Royale Salute garnered a goal’s advantage (4-5) on Friday in the 10-goal show. Manyatta Polo Club’s Parsons replaced the sensational Raphael Nzomo (handicap 2) who fell off his pony, Baronessa, and sprained his left wrist during the second chukka of the game on day one. Voorspury, also from Manyatta, netted four goals Royale Salute and Parsons added one, while Samsung Curve’s captian Murray led with a hat trick as Limb contributed one.
On Saturday, Samsung Curve rallied from a goal down to grab a 12-10 lead. Murray, a seasoned player from North Kenya Polo Club in Timau scored six of Samsung Curve’s goals on day two while Limb notched in a double. Voorspury and Millar slash in a brace each and Parsons scored one goal in the losing efforts. It was tough luck for Royale Salute lineup as they yet again lost Millar to an ankle injury towards the end of the fourth chukka.
On Sunday, handicap 3 Richard Stonewigg played for Royale Salute in Millar’s place. The finals were a tightly competed with Voorspury opening the scoring for Royale Salute by netting two and Mbugua Ngugi added one as they looked to grab the Lord Cranworth Cup. Murray scored for Samsung Curve in the second chukka to tie at 13-13 as Voorspory notched another to give Salute a 14-13 lead. Salle equalized and Murray netted a double to settle for a 16-14 lead at the end of the third chukka. Though Ngugi and Voorspury scored one each on the fourth chukka, Murray’s single sealed the win for Samsung Curve.
Sammy Kiarie powered Ruby Flagon to winning Welby Cup by scoring four goals in their 7-5F triumph over Sandstorm in the finals. The Welby Cup was played in a knockout format and the best winners, Ruby Flagon and Sandstorm met in the finals. Kiarie scored one goal in each chukka as Chloe Spoerry netted two from the field in the second and fourth periods and Michael Camm contributed one. Kenya-based British military man Major Jamie Hayward is the fourth player who contributed immensely in Ruby Flagon defense.
On their way to the finals, Ruby Flagon beat Samsung Note 8-3F and Sapphire Salute 6-5 in the preliminaries. On the other hand, Sandstorm clobbered Samsung S7 7-1F and Sapphire Salute 6-3 to book a date in the finals against Ruby Flagon as best winners in the preliminaries. Space & Style and Sapphire Salute qualified for the Wooden Spoon’ (third place playoffs) face off as best losers and the latter won 5-2F. Led by Pete Griffiths, Samsung S7 relegated Samsung Note to the bottom place in the Welby Cup, with a slim 6-5.
Ultimate won the Red Bull Trophy, beating Rack Tack and Capital Fm to the second and third positions respectively. Skippered by Abbany Karim -1, won all their six chukkas (spread over three days) to bag the trophy, while Rack Tack beat Capital Fm.
Murray scored 12 of the 17 goals for Curve as Voorspory had nine in the losing efforts. Parsons, was Lord Cranworth Cup Most Valuable Player and Britain-schooling Harry Stichbury the MVP in the subsidiary Welby Cup. Murray’s ‘Mimosa’ was the Best Played Pony in the tourney.