RIDING ON teenager Lucas Montverde Jr’s goal, UAE Polo Team snapped up the Masters Cup in a closely fought final with Habtoor Polo. UAE Polo, with Sheikha Maitha Al Maktoum as their patron, were in arrears for most of the match which was played at a high level at Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. And Montverde Jr scored a timely goal which turned out to be the winner at the end of the four chukkas. UAE won 5.5-5 after Wolves Polo edged RA Polo 5-4 in the third place play-off earlier in the day. While the UAE were successful in the Masters Cup, they made a slow start in the Julius Baer Gold Cup, which is the third tournament in the five competition Dubai Gold Cup Series.
Pablo Mac Donough turned out to be the star yet again for Zedan Polo, who beat the UAE comfortably in a high scoring encounter which ended 13-9. Mac Donough scored seven goals in Zedan’s victory as the UAE chased them for most of the game after finding themselves level just once, at the end of the first chukka, which ended 2-2. In the other game, Wolves went down rather tamely to Abu Dhabi, who were buoyed by the six goal performance of star Alfredo Capella. Abu Dhabi began with a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of the first chukka and were 5-1 clear after two periods. The Wolves came back over the next two periods, but found themselves 6-4 down going into the fifth and final chukka, where Abu Dhabi yet again outscored their rivals for the 8-5 finish.
In a Group B game, Benjamin Urquiza scored with a solo effort to help Mahra edge Desert Palm 10-9. The Julius Baer Gold Cup is an 18 goal handicap competition and one of two tournaments in the UAE to be recognised and certified by the World Polo Tour. It is being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Mohammed Al Habtoor said: “With eight world class teams and a lineup of exceptional players, polo fans and guests are guaranteed some exciting matches and top sportsmanship in the coming weeks.” Saman Habibian, Head GCC International at Bank Julius Baer & Co said: “This year’s edition is very special as it cements the game’s status as the leading polo competition in the region. Polo perfectly embodies a commitment to exceptional quality and a heritage of excellence, values that we look to bring to our clients every day.”