RAJNIGANDHA ACHIEVERS AND SONA POLO EVOLVED AS WINNERS ON THE FIRST OF YES BANK INDIAN MASTERS Delhi Polo Season maintains the thrill by welcoming the 14 goal Yes Bank Indian Masters. The tournament witnessed four teams participating in the competition, reflecting on the fact that each team will get to play against each other during the tournament. The first day of the tournament had all the four teams in action where the matches took place at Jaipur Polo Ground at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm respectively.
Jindal Panther/Garcha Lions vs Ranjigandha Warriors The first match had Mr. Satinder Garcha (+2), Mr. Simran Shergill (+6). Mr. Raul R Laplacette (+6), and Mr. Naveen Jindal (0) playing for Jindal Panther/Garcha Lions, while Ranjigandha Warriors were composed of Mr. Pranav Kapur (+2), Mr. Gaurav Sahgal (+3), Mr. Salim Azmi (+3), and Mr. Matthew Philip Perry (+6). The umpires for the first match were Mr. Julio Bensadon and Mr. Shamsheer Ali.
The match got into action as soon as the umpires threw in the ball. Players from both the team tried to get hold of the ball, signalling a tough game, so much so that, the game did not see any goal for the first 2minutes and 30 seconds, but suddenly the hope of getting the first goal raised as all the players got near the goal post and just then Matthew sneaked the ball and with a cut shot, stroke the first and opening goal of the match. The goal was followed by a change of horses, which comes as a new rule in Indian Polo, where the players need to change the ponies after half way through the chukker. This is a good rule as it helps in keeping the condition of the ponies good.
The players get 60 seconds for doing so and the game resumes after it. Coming into action, Raul got into play. He hooked Salim, saved the ball and took a long stroke, marking the first goal for Jindal Panther/ Garcha Lions. Both the teams had lead to a tie, but breaking it, Matthew Perry came on strike to take a 40 yard penalty shot, bringing lead to Rajnigandha Achievers. But maintaining the toughness of the game, Simran stroke another goal in favour of his team. By the end of the first chukker, the LA POLO scoreboard read 2-2. The second chukker maintained the similar sporty spirit, also witnessing some great team work where Salim Azmi gets hold of the ball, taps it and then passes it to Matthew, who takes the ball and taps it all way through the goal post, striking the third goal for the team. Soon after this goal, Raul came into action where he hits a long shot; takes hold of the ball but loses the ball just at the mouth of the goal post. Taking a good chance, Salim strikes the ball with a back hand, but coming in, Raul takes control of the ball again, and this time without missing any chance, strikes a clean goal for the team. After this dramatic shot, Gaurav Sahgal from Rajnigandha Achievers taps the ball and takes it towards the goal post, but loses its control as the ball bounced too much.
The team although came up and stroke the fourth goal, with which the team came into lead by the end of the second chukker by 4-3. The third chukker began and within first 40 seconds, the chukker had the umpires blowing whistles for a 40 yard penalty shot in favour of Jindal Panther/Garcha Lions. Raul took the shot and had the scores equal to the opponent team. Soon after this, the team again got a 60 yard penalty shot, Raul came in again, but this time he misses the shot. Nevertheless the game got into play once again, where Pranav Kapur sneaked the ball from the opponent players. Tapping the ball he takes it all through the ground in a clear shot but missed the ball just near the goal mouth with Raul striking the ball with a back hand. The pressure of the game was building up and just then Gaurav comes in to take a 30 yard penalty shot. After this, Matthew again strikes a goal making the score 6-4 after the end of third chukker. Matthew Perry strikes the seventh goal for his team as soon as the fourth chukker opens, but this also witnessed Pranav Kapur falling from his horse, although keeping the spirit of the game alive, he came back into the play without wasting any minutes. This minor accident was followed by a striking goal of Simran which made the scores to 7-5 as the fourth chukker wrapped. The fifth chukker began and Raul was set to take a penalty shot, decreasing the gap between the scores of both the teams. It was again followed by another 60 yard penalty shot which Raul took and brought the score to 7-7. With only 3minutes 35 seconds of the match left, and a tie score, the intensity of the game was heating up. It was so much that all the players defended the ball so well that none could reach closer to the goal mouth.
The game witnessed an extension of 30 seconds after the fifth chukker, were Matthew took the ball and hit it towards the goal post, Simran galloped to stop the ball, even tried but got just nano-seconds late and the match wrapped in favour of Rajnigandha Achievers at 8-7. Match Progression Rajnigandha Achievers vs Jindal Panther/Garcha Lions 2-2|4-3|6-4|7-5|8-7 Sona Polo vs Palermo Polo The second match of the day had Mr. Kartikeya Singh (0), Sawai Padmanabh Singh (+3), Mr. Abhimanyu Pathak (+5), and Mr. Gerardo Mazzini (+6) playing for Sona Polo, while Palermo Polo had Mr. Dhananjay Singh (0), Mr. Siddhant Sharma (+4), Mr. Dhruvpal Godara (+5), Mr. Samir Suhag (+5). The second game reminded of very much the same of the finals of Sir Pratap Singh Cup 2018, where the same players saw each other battling it out. The finals were although won by Sona Polo, it was time to see who wins the second match of day one at Yes Bank Indian Masters. The game opened in favour of Palermo Polo which witnessed two goal back to back with Siddhant marking the first goal, followed by Dhruvpal’s strike. The chukker wrapped at nil for Sona Polo and 2 for Palermo Polo. It seemed like the match was going in favour of Palermo Polo until the beginning of the second chukker, that witnessed two 60 yard penalty shot, both in favour of Sona Polo.
The first shot was taken by Abhimanyu Pathak, also known as Abby among friends and Polo players, while the second shot had Mazzini in action. With this, the score of the match came to 2-2. The toughness of the game got real after this chukker. As soon as the third chukker started, Dhruvpal Godara stroke a clean shot bringing Palermo Polo in lead by 3-2. The chukker wrapped at this score without witnessing any more action. This goal was followed the fourth chukker where Abhimanyu Pathak’s powerful strike again bought the scores to equal. After this, Mazzini ruled a 40 yard penalty shot bringing the team in lead. The game came into action once again, and Siddhant attacked the ball to have a control, but Padmanabh, also known as Pacho hooked him and getting hold of the ball, took it through the ground to score another goal for Sona Polo. With Padmanabh scoring the fifth goal for his team the chukker wrapped at 3-5.
The last and final chukker of the match started off with Siddhant Sharma on the strike who even after being stopped by Abhimanyu Pathak achieved the fourth goal for the team. Unfortunately, while stopping Siddhnat from scoring a goal, Abhimanyu Pathak ran into the goal post and he fell from his horse. But the tough guy got up quickly and got back into the game after a quick medical aid. This accident was followed by a splashing goal of Dhruvapl bringing the score to as close as 5-5. The match had a similar fate as that of the first match. The match too extended into extra 30 sec but it soon saw a clean cut shot from Abhimanyu Pathak which had everyone in loud applause. The match wrapped at 5-6. Match Progression Sona Polo vs Palermo Polo 0-2|2-2|2-3|5-3|6-5
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