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Habtoor UAE in seventh heaven after crushing England


ARGENTEX HABTOOR UAE stunned England in the inaugural contest between the two sides at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club in Dubai last week. Captained by Charlie Cadogan, the four member England team, featuring some of the best talent in the UK, faced off against a select UAE side led by Mohammed Al Habtoor in the first ever England International Polo Classic presented by Chestertons. The hosts were in no mood to take the game lightly and were keen on proving their quality, the result being the England outfit, despite putting their best on display, were forced to finish as the losers with the local side running out comfortable 7-4 winners at the end of the four chukkas.

The international match was played at a 14-goal handicap and under Hurlingham Polo Association rules. And it turned out to be a frantic game, with Mohammed putting the Emirates side on the scoreboard early in the first chukka. Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario doubled Argentex Habtoor’s advantage by scoring a second in the opening period. The English reduced the arrears to a goal with Will Emerson scoring, but Santiago Gomez Romero ensured the UAE side’s two goal cushion remained intact at the end of the second chukka by scoring in the last second before the hooter. The third chukka saw Habtoor UAE and England score twice each in what turned out to be the best period of the game.

Still England were left facing a stiff challenge in the final chukka. To win, they would first have to overhaul a two goal deficit, but as they pushed forward they left themselves vulnerable to attacks from their rivals and the UAE were only too happy to hit back whenever presented with an opportunity and they did that twice, with Mohammed and Santiago Gomez Romero scoring once each in the final quarter. England’s Tom Brodie scored a fine runaway goal, converting after taking possession all the way in the midfield.

It was a fine strike, but the UAE had done more than enough to ensure a sweet 7-4 success. Deputy CEO of Hurlingham Polo Association, Oliver Hughes presented the winners with an original miniature version of one of the sport’s most prestigious trophies, The Coronation Cup. Hughes said: “It is truly a proud moment to be able to bring an England team here to Dubai for the first time. The UAE is now considered to be one of the world’s fastest growing polo communities and we certainly see Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club as one of the finest polo venues in the world.”

Committee chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, Mohammed Al Habtoor added: “It was an absolute pleasure to host this inaugural international match here at our club and I look forward to many more.”

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15 Feb 2018
Issue Number: Issue 636
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