Imphal Riding Club (IRC) thrash Chingkheihunba Polo Club (CHPC) 4-0 to claim the title of the 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament while X Polo Club prevailed 5-3 against Chingkheihunba Polo Club to cruise to men’s (29th Governor’s Cup) title in the final matches held today at Mapal Kangjeibung.
In the women’s final match, Kh Habe Devi scored twice to set up a 4-0 win against Chingkheihunba Polo Club and successfully defended the title.
S Langlen Devi struck the opener in the 6th minute of the first chukker and gave IRC a 1-0 lead before Kh Habe chipped in her first and the team’s second goal in the second chukker.
Habe extended the lead to 3-0 with a quick finish in the third chukker and A Romabati Devi was able to round off the scoring as CH PC riders failed to come up with what their fans have expected.
Elsewhere in the men’s final, P Ojit took the centre stage as he scored thrice and Th Jacob found the target twice to help X Polo earn the title against defending champions Chingkheihunba Polo Club.
Goals galored in the first chukker as Chingkheihunba Polo Club hit twice and X Polo Club fetched four goals before the game went luck in the succeeding chukkers.
P Ojit of X Polo Club was first to open up and Th Jacob followed suit to fire in the second within few seconds.
Leishemba Takhellambam and P Jotin scored one goal each in the 3rd and the 4th minute to help Chingkheihunba draw level but P Ojit asserted his scoring prowess by chipping in two more goals and made it 4-2 at the end of the first chukker.
Th Kaoba of CHPC reduced the gap by scoring a single in the 2nd chukker but their effort was not enough to restore parity.
Th Jacob of X Polo Club then hit a single in the third chukker and gave his team a 5-3 lead which lasted till the fourth chukker as Chingkheihunba Polo Club failed to stage a comeback.
The closing ceremony of the tournaments was graced by Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, H Deleep Singh; honorary president, Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association; S Buddhachandra Singh, advisor, Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association as dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor said food poisoning and road accidents are often found to be the main reasons for the death of Pony.
Concerted effort by all stakeholders is the need of the hour to save this breed from extinction.
The Governor further stated that these tournaments are organized by the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association with the main objectives to save Manipuri Pony and to popularize the game of Polo besides promoting tourism.
The collective efforts of the State Government, commitment and dedication of all the members of the Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association, polo players, different clubs, pony owners and most importantly, the people of Manipur will lead to a turnaround and brighter days are ahead for both the Manipuri pony and the polo game, she added.
She also announced financial assistance worth Rs 1 lakh from the Governor’s Discretionary Fund to the organizers.
Later, trophies and cash prizes were distributed to the winners and runners up of the tournament by the chief guest and dignitaries.
Winners and Runners of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019, received Trophy and cash prize of Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 while winners and runners up of the 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019 were feted with trophies and cash prize of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.
As part of tournament, two veteran Polo players of the State, Y Jilla Singh of Wahengkhuman and Ksh Joykumar Singh from Mayang Imphal were also honoured with cash incentive award of Rs 10,000 each.