It was an exciting weekend as high ranking international players teamed up with local experts to compete in the 14- goals Stanbic Bank Kenya Polo Tournament at the Nairobi Polo Club.
Samurai team finally won the event on a clean sheet after winning all their three matches in the event played in round robin format.
The team that featured handicap four Brian Hein of South Africa, Craig Millar (3.5), Gordon Millar (2) and Raphael Nzomo (1.5) accumulated six maximum points to be crowned champions on Sunday.
Drum finished second with four points followed by Veuve Clicquot and Stanbic who bagged two points each.
In their last match of the tournament, Samurai edged out CFC Stanbic Bank 6.5-6 in a nerve cracking match that provided thrills and spills.
Millar and Hein playing off handicap four scored two goals apiece while handicap two Gordon Millar contributed one goal for the enterprising Samurai side that entered the match with advantage of 1.5 handicap goal.
Stanbic staged a late onslaught scoring four goals in the last two chukkas to narrow the gap to just a fraction of a goal.
Handicap 4.5 Jammie Murray smacked in four goals while John Eustaceof of South Africa playing off handicap five managed two goals for Stanbic.
On how they won the match, Nzomo said: “International players have done us proud. For me it was great honor playing alongside Hein in the tournament. He (Hein) encouraged us to play as one and that is how we won the tournament.”
According to Nzomo’s own analysis, international players have taken Kenyan polo to the next level.
Drum Magazine defeated Veuve Clicquot 6-4 in their final match to finish runners-up with two victories that handed them four points.
Handicap six Buster McKenzie who was the highest ranked player in the tournament converted four goals for Drum while Henry Limb managed two. Clicquot replied through handicap five Selby Williamson who scored a hat-trick and handicap three Richard Stonewigg who contributed one goal.
McKenzie said: “It was a great polo experience and I want to congratulate all players who made the competition a success. I enjoyed playing here in Nairobi and hope to return again in future.”
The other international players who featured in the tournament were handicap five John Eustace, Bryan Hein (4) and Selby Williamson (5).
Upcoming local players like Nzomo and handicap two Vishal Somaia also displayed great game at the event.
The subsidiary category was won by the AON team of Ed Burbidge (0), Mega Griffiths (-1), Tom Stonewigg (-1.5) and Robert Koitaba.
Millar of Samurai was voted the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
By Oscar Pilipili, The Standard