Sonorous tunes of the army band and the clattering of hoofs at the Jaipur Polo Ground mark the Polo season in the Capital. With the who’s who of the City making a beeline to catch the finale of Cavalry Gold Cup 2013 - which had Suneendra Sports Club(SSC) battling against Jindal Panthers(JP), all eyes were set on the dark horses which looked lovely against the backdrop of the greens.
A beautiful trophy seemingly inspired by Thai culture, stationed in the centre of the VVIP area, was the ultimate goal of both the teams. While the onset of the afternoon on last Saturday was quite dull – due to the one-sided exhibition match, the following finale brought back the sulking spirit of the viewers.
The enthusiasts were left yawning as the team of Army Polo and Riding Club (APRC) in Blue dominated the APRC in Red, throughout. The APRC in Blue won with a score of 9 goals to nil as the final hooter was hit and the audience were left clueless about what to cheer for?
As evening progressed, the thrill for the final match set in. The ground was ready and with umpires dressed in black and white stripes, the players of both the teams were introduced. The SSC comprised a talented set of Abhimanyu Pathak, Dhruvpal Godara, Manupal Godara and Pratap Singh Kanota who had to take on Naveen Jindal, Simran Shergill, Edward Winterton and Ricardo Nunez of JP.
Since the ball was thrown into the ground, one could spot a strong marking of all SSC players by those from JP. The latter’s captain, MP Naveen Jindal scored the first goal for his team and received applauses and hoots from audience members. SSC’s Abhimanyu Pathak soon struck the first goal for his team making it clear that they will not part with the trophy easily!
In the second chakkar, Edward struck the third goal. This was followed by a penalty in favour of SSC. In fact, a number of penalties in favour of SSC brought the match to a nail-biting half-time with the scoreboard pausing at 5-2. By the end of the third chakkar, the score was 6-5 and the seventh goal was a powerful strike by Ricardo whose galloping horse made the heart beats stop for a second.
As each one present looked on in anticipation, in the fourth chakkar Dhruv was tiered just in the nick of time lest JP made its 8th goal. As Manu Pal stopped to defend Ricardo, the final hooter buzzed, landing the coveted trophy in the kitty of Jindal Panthers. Simran Shergill was the star performer for the Jindals, scoring 4 goals out of the winning 7.
Just before the presentation ceremony, there was a show of trick riding and the august gathering dispersed for hors d’oeuvre soon after!