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Al Bawardi stars in UAE National Day match at Ghantoot


RASHID AL BAWARDI turned out to be the star at the UAE National Day polo match at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club in Abu Dhabi last week. The one off match between Spirit of Union and Year of Giving dished out a rather lopsided result that was far from the true reflection of competition between the two sides. At the end of four chukkas, Year of Giving, buoyed by the performance of the in form Rashid Al Bawardi, won 8-2.5. Al Bawardi scored four times in the victory. Abdullah bin Dasmal and the team’s eligible professional player Matias Machado scored a goal each, while Khaled bin Drai fired a brace in the rout.

Playing under the title of Spirit of Union, the team suffered a setback early in the game when their star player Yousuf bin Dasmal was injured while attempting to ward off a goal. He was replaced by the young Ahmed Bugdain, who, together with Fahad Al Qubaisi, Ahmed bin Dasmal and Argentinian professional Felipe Llorente, put up a brave performance against a team that could do little wrong. Llorente scored twice in the match. Year of Giving’s Bin Drai said: “The idea was to play more open polo. We didn’t try anything ‘fancy’, we just kept it simple and enjoyed ourselves.

“The whole idea was to get acclimatised as this is just the start of the season and to put on a show for the spectators. We won but that did not reveal how much all eight players on the ground really enjoyed playing on UAE National Day. “Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club is a fantastic polo venue. Everything about the club is world class. The polo pitch was in amazing condition and it is such a joy to play polo under floodlights. It’s a unique experience as Ghantoot is the only polo club in the region to have floodlit grounds.”

Nesrine Bengra, head of marketing and PR at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club added: “We are so delighted to have such an esteemed gathering of dignitaries and guests join us on this special day. “We would also like to extend our thanks to the special guests and visitors from the KSA, who were alongside us celebrating the UAE’s 46th National Day. “Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club is a result of the vision of the late president HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his son, HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is committed to sustaining the love his father had for horses and the sport of polo.”

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07 Aug 2018
Issue Number: Issue 647
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