Half goal secures Ghantoot success
On Friday 7 February, Ghantoot secured The Dubai Silver Cup, the opening competition of The Dubai Gold Cup Series. The first chukka got off to a slow start with UAE Polo not building upon their 1½ goal handicap advantage and Ghantoot scoring just one goal. However, both teams picked up the pace in the second chukka, which ended with Ghantoot leading 5-2½ following two back-to-back goals from Pablo Llorente, plus a converted penalty from Marcos Araya and a goal from César Crespo. In the third chukka, Brit Tommy Beresford’s penalty shots brought his team within winning distance, with the scores reading 5-4½ to Ghantoot. The frenetic goal scoring continued into the penultimate chukka with three goals apiece for both teams.
At the start of the final chukka, it was still anybody’s guess who would ride away victorious; Araya scored a penalty which extended Ghantoot’s lead. However, UAE weren’t ready to submit yet and Panelo scored with just a minute left on the clock which kept UAE’s hopes high. Sadly for UAE, Ghantoot quickly replied and secured the win and title with a final score of 9-8½.Crespo was named the Most Valuable Player and Pichot, played by Araya was decided as the Best Playing Pony.
The Dubai Silver Cup Final Teams:Ghantoot (18): Ali Al Merri (0), César Crespo (5), Pablo Llorente (6) & Marcos Araya (7)UAE Polo (16): Sheikha Maitha (0), Tomás Panelo (6), Benjamín Panelo (4) & Tommy Beresford (6) Photograph: Ghantoot, winners of The Dubai Silver Cup. Courtesy of Al Habtoor Polo Club & Resort