LAHORE – All-round HN Polo Team clinched the coveted Tower 21 Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup after edging out Newage Cables/Master Paints 9-8 in the thrilling final here at the Lahore Polo Club on Sunday.
The grand finale of the mega event of Lahore Polo Club proved a battle royal, as both the teams fought for each and every goal till the end and at this stage, the score was tied at 8-all. The nail-biting final was then decided in the sudden death chukker, where hero of the day Tito Ruiz Guinazu smashed in the match-winning goal to win the maiden Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup of his career so far in Pakistan.
Talking to media after registering title triumph, Tito Ruiz said: “As I was struggling to win this prestigious event for a couple of years, finally, I have won it. It was a team work behind this success and we are very happy for it. The credit goes to all the boys, who played so well in the final.”
Hamza Mawaz Khan, who was playing in place of injured Raja Sami Ullah, also stole the show with a major contribution of fabulous four goals for HN Polo while his teammates Tito Ruiz and Hilario Ruiz banged in a beautiful brace each and Haider Naseem hit goal.
Newage Cables/Master Paints also played superb polo and fought for each and every goal till the end that helped them finish the fifth chukker at 8-all. But they couldn’t produce magical tough in the sudden death chukker, thus lost the final by a close margin of 8-9. Gonazlo Deltour was top scorer for the losing side with a contribution of four goals while Vieri Antinori hammered a hat-trick and Alman Jalil Azam hit one.
The colorful concluding ceremony was graced by Tower 21 CEO Hamza Raza Malik as chief guest, who, in the presence of Tower 21 management, Lahore Polo Club President Umer Sadik, Secretary Agha Murtaza Ali Khan, executive committee members, players, their families and polo lovers, gave away prizes and shields to the winners, runners-up, subsidiary finalists and top performers of the mega event.
The best foreign player award was claimed by Tito Ruiz of HN Polo, the best Pakistani player award by Raja Temur Nadeem, Life Time Achievement award by former LPC President Abdul Qadir Mamdot, emerging player award by Ibrahim Sultan, the spirit of polo award by Faisal Tarrar, in 0-2 category award by Hussain Monnoo, the 2-goal category award by Imran Shahid and the 2-4 category awards by Hamza Mawaz Khan and Ahmed Ali Tiwana.
The awards were also distributed among club office management as Muhammad Irfan Accounts Manager, Imran Iqbal Polo Manager and Faisal Mehmood Assistant Accounts Manager also received awards. The best playing polo pony (foreign) was ‘Camila’ owned by Haider Naseem and played by Tito Ruiz while the best playing polo pony was ‘Buraq 599’ owned by Remounts and played by Simon Prado. According to its owner, this local pony has competed well against the best foreign ponies and they will have much better ponies in the seasons to come.
Earlier in the subsidiary final, DS Polo/Rizvi’s defeated FG Polo Team by 4-3. Max Charlton emerged as star of the day for DS Polo/Rizvi’s as he hammered all the four goals while Waqas Khan and Ramiro Zaveletta played well for FG Polo Team by converting two and one goal respectively.
In title clash, HN Polo beat Newage/MP by