LAHORE, April 1: BMA Capital (BMA) faced a tough challenge from Bahria Town (BT) before beating them 6-5 to enter the final of the Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup national polo championship on Friday.
A high class game was witnessed. Fine marking, planned onslaughts and excellent stick work enthralled spectators. BMA, the winners, dominated the major part of the match although BT gave them a run for their money and managed to level the score 4-4 in the fourth chukker. Howard Hipwood, a five handicapper from England, who scored three goals, helped BMA to lead 3-0 in the first chukker. He drew first blood scoring a field goal.
Sheryar Munir pumped in a field goal to increase the lead 2-0 before Hipwood struck his second after receiving a fine pass from Omar Minhas. BT struck back in the second chukker, reducing the lead to 3-2 as their top scorer Geredo Mazzini, an Argentinean, scored back-to-back field goals. Omar extended BMA’s lead 4-2 by scoring a field goal, which was the only goal of the third chukker.
He converted a penalty near the goalpost.
BT, however, did not give up the chase and staged a comeback by levelling the score 4-4 in the fourth chukker. Mazzini struck his third to complete hat trick while two-goal Ahmed Ali Tiwana netted his first. BMA again surged ahead 6-4 in the fifth chukker when Hipwood scored his third goal while Hissam Ali Hyder banged home a field goal. But soon the losers reduced the lead 6-5 when Ahmed scored his second through a field attempt.
When only one minute left, BT’s efforts to draw level suffered a setback when Mazzini fell down from his pony in the middle of the ground. He was allowed to continue after receiving first-aid but the tempo of the game had broken as BT failed to maintain the pace of attack. The winners will play the final against Bank Alfalah on Sunday.
On Saturday, Nokia Chimera will play Fauji Remounts in the last pool ‘A’ match.
BMA Capital Army: Shahryar Munir (2), Omer Minhas (3), Hissam Ali Hyder (4), Howard Hipwood (5).
Bahria Town: Faaiz Rahim (1), Ahmed Ali Tiwana (2), Atif Yar Tiwana (4), Geredo Mazzini (7).
Umpires: Usman Haye, Lucas Paola.