FG Polo clinch Bank Alfalah National Open Polo trophy

LAHORE   -  FG Polo clinched the coveted tro­phy of the Bank Alfalah National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2024 after defeating BN Polo by 8-6 in the main final here at Lahore Polo Club’s Aibak Polo Ground on Sunday. The match was a showcase of skill and determi­nation, with Raul Laplacette leading FG Polo with a remark­able performance, scoring six of the team’s eight goals. Andres Llorrente contributed the other two, ensuring their team’s dom­inance. BN Polo’s Santiago Loza responded fiercely, achieving a hat-trick of goals, supported by Hamza Mawaz Khan with two goals and Santos Iriarte adding one to their tally. 

The final was a rollercoaster of emotions and skills, begin­ning with BN Polo’s quick lead of 2-0. FG Polo, however, quickly narrowed the gap by the end of the first chukker and continued to build momentum, eventually overtaking BN Polo. Despite a strong comeback from BN Polo to level the score at 4-4, the de­cisive fifth chukker saw FG Polo unleash their prowess, outscor­ing their opponents to clinch the championship with an 8-6 victory. The match was expertly overseen by field umpires Mark Holmes and Nicolas Scortichini, with Juan Zubiaurre acting as the match referee. 

Talking to media, FG Polo Team Captain Mian Abbas Mukhtar said: “Our team dedi­cated immense effort through­out the season, meticulously preparing for this prestigious event. We are profoundly grate­ful to the Almighty for enabling us to triumph and secure the esteemed trophy of the National Open Polo Championship.” 

Talal Ali Raza, the Head of Islamic Banking and Branch Banking at Bank Alfalah, along­side Syed Irfan Akhtar Gilani, the GM Central East at Bank Al­falah, were in attendance at the final. Malik Azam Hayat Noon, President of the Lahore Polo Club, along with other dignitar­ies, also graced the event with their presence. The pre-match festivities added to the vigorous atmosphere, featuring a bikers’ parade, a vintage car display, a javelin showcase, and an Ara­bian horse dance. In the subsid­iary final, Olympia/AZB Polo de­feated Diamond Paints/Master Paints by 4-3. 

During the prize distribution ceremony, the Lifetime Achieve­ment Award was bestowed upon Irfan Ali Hyder, in recog­nition of his invaluable service as a former President of Lahore Polo Club. Additional accolades were awarded to notable indi­viduals of Lahore Polo Club for their exceptional roles, includ­ing Riding School Instructor Munawar Iqbal, Security Super­visor M Arif, Deputy Ground­man M Ali, Head Groundman M Khalid, Ambulance Company CEO M Naeem, Lahore Polo Club Manager M Imran Iqbal Bhatti, Admin Manager M Faisal, and Accounts Manager M Irfan. 

Meanwhile, Raja Mikayial Sami honored as the best Paki­stani player of the year, Raul La­placette the best foreign player and Max Charlton the highest goal-scorer of the tournament. Raja Temur Nadeem’s mare be­ing named the best local mare of the tournament, Daniyal Shai­kh’s horse the best horse of the tournament, and Mian Abbas Mukhtar’s mare the best mare of the final.

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