In a final that turned out to be an absolute blockbuster, Ghantoot Polo edged Bin Drai Polo 7-6 to win the UAE National Day Cup 2022. The tournament was staged at the Al Habtoor Polo Club to honour the UAE’s Spirit of the Union, with a series of qualification matches played in the days running up to the showpiece to determine the finalists.
Ghantoot Polo and Bin Drai Polo were among five teams that vied for the UAE National Day Cup. The final saw both teams get competitive from the outset, but it was Bin Drai Polo that scored first, Esteban Panelo supplying the opener in the first chukka. The third chukka saw a flurry of goals, with the teams wasting no time in responding to each other.
Both were level going into the final chukka, but that last period saw Ghantoot Polo going ahead early on. Their lead was shortlived, however, with Bin Drai pegging them back almost immediately. The closing moments of the match turned out to be nerve racking for both teams, but Ghantoot managed to hold their nerve and score late on for a 7-6 victory.
The subsidiary final was held before the showpiece and witnessed another tense finish with Ankora Polo getting the better of rivals Mahra Polo by a goal to win 6-5. Ahead of the finals, a friendly game for kids was held featuring several students from the Al Habtoor Polo Academy. Martin Pedersen, chairman, and Jochen Knecht, CEO from International Free Zone Authority, awarded the teams of the day. Anil Ramchandani, director of Kachins Group, awarded Nasser Al Shamsi as Kachins Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Facilidad, a 9yo horse ridden by Miguel Delia, was given the Best Playing Pony award.