Unity Polo: VALDA, Trade Mark record wins in carnival tourney opener
By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson,
VALDA and Trade Mark Polo teams on Tuesday got off to flying starts as they both recorded wins in their opening games of the 2015 Guards Brigade Polo Club Carnival tournament in Abuja.
The tournament which galloped off at the Guards Polo Club, saw VALDA who are competing in the low goal category upset the highly rated Y.B. Farms 4 – 3 ½ in the first game of the day. Y.B Farms were given a ½ goal advantage by the umpire before the start of the game to level the handicap difference between both sides.
The first Chukka was keenly contested as Y.B. Farms looked to show their superiority from the start.
However, it was VALDA who drew the first blood through their most experienced player, Khalifa Maitashi to give his team a 1-0 lead. Y.B. Farms came out smoking in the second Chukka as Abdulmalik Badamasi scored two quick goals to put his team ahead before Abdallah Bappai leveled up, while Tata Ali added a third for the Valda team.
Taking a 3-2 lead into the third chukka, the momentum swung to team VALDA’s side as they added two more goals through the influential Bappai and Maitashi to make it 5-2 at the end of the chukka. Badamasin grabbed his hat-trick as he scored the only goal in the dying minutes of the fourth and last chukka to make it 5-3 which proved to be a mere consolation for Y.B. Farms.
The second game of the day was a one-sided affair as Trade Mark defeated Blue Alchemy 4 – 2 ½ in the medium goal category. Bashir Dantata was the most outstanding player of the team as he grabbed a hat-trick for Trade Mark, while Nasiru Lukat added a fourth.
Speaking after the match, Aliyu Umar of Trade Mark who doubles as the tournament manager said teamwork and patience was key to their victory.
“Knowing full well that our opponents came into the game with a 1 ½ goal advantage, we had to be patient as we pressed hard to level the handicap difference. Our opponents chose to be more defensive so as to guard their goal advantage but it worked against them at the end of the day,” he said.
On his part, Jamilu Umar of Blue Alchemy team who scored the only goal for his team said his team had a strategy going into the game but they were unfortunate to have lost. “Our game plan was to play deep and catch them on the counter attack but it didn’t work out for us at the end. ‘We will definitely make up for the loss in our next game,” he said.
Other teams taking part in the tournament are Lungi, Mambilla, Sultana, Y.B Farms, ALMAT Group and Dabon Kano who will slug it out in the low goal and medium goal categories. The tournament which kicked off on Tuesday is expected to end on November 22.