LAHORE: Diamond Paints and Allied Bank Limited (ABL) Sunday carved out thrilling victories on the sixth day of the Samba Bank Lahore Open Polo Championship 2017 being played here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground.
In the first match of the day helped by Mir Shoaib Ahmed and Eulogio Celestino, Diamond Paints defeated Green Orchard/Rijas by 5-4 in a nail-biting match. Both Mir Shoaib and Eulugio played outstanding polo and contributed two goals each in their team’s triumph while the remaining one was scored by Mir Huzaifa Ahmed.
Mir Shoaib opened the account of Diamond Paints when he fired a fantastic field goal to give his team 1-0 lead in the first chukker. Geoffredo struck a field goal to level the score 1-1 soon after the second chukker began. After that Diamond Paints changed their gears and hammered an impressive hat-trick through Eulogio (2 goals) and Mir Shoaib (1 goal) to take 4-1 lead. The third chukker was evenly poised as one goal each was scored by both the sides to make it 5-2. Mir Huzaifa struck for Diamond Paints and Ahmed Zubair Butt for Green Orchard. Green Orchard though bounced back in the fourth and last chukker by thwarting goals through Geoffredo and Ahmed Zubair to reduce the margin to 5-4 but it was too little too late situation for them as when they were struggling for slamming the equalizer, the final whistle was blown and declared Diamond Paints as winners of this thrilling match. Ahmed Ali Tiwana and Luis Mighal Duggan were the field umpires.
The second encounter also proved to be a thrilling one as both Allied Bank and Habib Metro Lions/Master Paints fought till the end, but the ultimate winners were Allied Bank who registered a narrow 7-6 victory. Saqib Khan Khakwani was star of the day as he hammered a hat-trick for Allied Bank while his teammates Mumtaz Abbas Niazi (2 goals), Raja Arslan Najeeb (2 goals) also played well. From Habib Metro Lions, Hamza Mawaz Khan thwarted three goals while Edward Banner struck two and Aun Rizvi one goal.
The highly-charged first chukker of the match saw both the teams slammed in two goals each to level the score 2-2. Mumtaz Abbas scored opening goal for Allied Bank while Edward Banner and Aun Rizvi converted one goal each to take 2-1 lead which was equalized in the dying moment of the chukker when Mumtaz Abbas fired a field goal. The only goal of the second chukker came from Edward Banner, who hit a field goal to give Habib Metro 3-2 edge.
ABL bounced back in the third chukker as they banged in two goals through Saqib Khakwani and Raja Arslan to take 4-3 lead but in the dying moments of the chukker, Hamza converted a 60-yarder successfully to level the score 4-4. Saqib started the fourth and last chukker by converting a 60-yard penalty to provide his team 5-4 lead once again but it was shortlived by Hamza, who pumped in two back-to-back goals to give his team 6-5 lead.
It was anyone’s match but Habib Metro were looking more confident of victory, but contrary to their expectations, Allied Bank players played very aggressive polo and banged in two more goals to register a nail-biting 7-6 victory. Raja Arslan first scored a field goal followed by another field goal from Saqin Khakwani to steer their team to tremendous thrilling triumph. Eulogio Celestino and Geoffredo supervised the match as field umpires.