The vibrant Access Bank Day made a wonderful return to Guards Polo Club on Saturday, once again delivering some fabulous fundraising accompanied by plenty of polo. The pandemic had forced the Club’s banking partner to postpone their hugely popular annual event for two successive years, so this year’s Access Bank Day was particularly important.
The Access Bank Cup, which traditionally mixes patrons and some of the biggest names of the game currently playing in the UK resulted in a win for Access Bank.
They defeated Fifth Chukker 6-5 on The Queen’s Ground. Ali Albwardy, founder of the Desert Palm Polo Club in Dubai and patron of the Dubai high-goal team, stepped forward to receive the trophy from HH The 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi, Lamido Sanusi and HRH The Emir of Zazzau, Ahmed N Bamalli.
Ali, who had scored the majority of his team’s goals, also received the Best Playing Pony prize for Jasmine, whom he had played in the first and third chukkas.
Ali’s teammate, and Access Bank Day regular, Adamu Atta, was also impressive in this match, delivering some strong runs to goal.
The Most Valuable Player prize went to Fifth Chukker’s Ryk Neethling. Ryk has only been playing polo since lockdown but put in a sterling performance in this match. His sporting prowess should not be a surprise though as this South African is an Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer!
Juan Martin Nero, Santi Cernadas, Barto Castagnola and Guillermo Terrera brought pace to the game but this was as much about having fun with friends as playing to win.