The family that prays together stays together, for the Nzomos it was a classic case of one that plays together and wins together.
Lead by father Raphael, Samurai won 5-4 against Royal Salute to win the 14th edition of the Maria Bencivenga Polo Tournament trophy at Jamhuri Grounds in Nairobi on Sunday.
The Nairobi Polo Club captain, Raphael Nzomo, son, Jadini, scored a brace apiece as his daughter, Hiromi, added another to seal the victory and take back the crown they won in 2016.
Former Nairobi Polo Club captain, Vishal Somaia, struck twice for Royal as his teammates, Mike du Toit and Louis Roumeguere added a goal each for the beaten side.
“I thank God for my parents, the unity in my family is what contributed to this victory,” Jadini said.
The Most Valuable Player award went to Hiromi, the eldest of the Nzomo siblings whose defensive and offensive skills on both sides of the pitch was at another level.
“This is a great honour for me. I feel appreciated and pay tribute to Royal too for being worthy opponents in the finals,” Hiromi said.
Samurai triumphed 4-1 against Space and Style on their way to the finals where Nzomo notched the double as Amani and Hiromi added a goal apiece in the one-sided match.
Space and Style captain, Lorenzo Soriano scored the lone goal for his side who were relegated to the subsidiary tie.
On the other hand, Somaia scored a brace against R.J Polo to lead Royal Salute to the finals with a 2-0 win.
“The contest was very fast and beginners found it hard to cope, most players used the occasion to test their newly acquired ponies ahead of forthcoming Kenya Open,” noted Nzomo
“We held this annual tournament in honour of our late player, Maria Bencivenga. She was instrumental in the growth of polo in this club and Kenya at large,” Nzomo added.
Attention now shifts to the second edition of the Soldier’s Salute.
The Soldier’s Salute adds to the traditional Davis Cup and Maria Bencivenga memorial Cup as the tournaments played in January at the Nairobi club.
With the regular season due to kick off in May, Nzomo says such tournaments played during the pre-season are important for juniors, and beginners as well as players who want to try out new horses.
“Just as you witnessed today, this is a perfect atmosphere for players especially beginners to gain exposure during offseason period,” Nzomo explained.