LAHORE - Diamond Paints, Dollar East/Master Paints and Learning Alliance, carved out sensational victories in their respective matches of the ongoing National Open Polo Championship 2016 for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground on Wednesday.

In the first match of the day, Learning Alliance defeated Army Remounts 8-7 in a thrilling match. Max Charlton was hero of the day as he developed a quarter for Learning Alliancewhile Ahmed Ali Tiwana also played brilliantly and scored a hat-trick and Adnan Jalil Azam contributed one goal. For the losing side, marvelous mallot and horse work of George Meyrick was highlight of the day but unfortunately his heroics couldn’t save his team’s blushes and had to suffer the loss with just one-goal margin. Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi and Major Haseeb Minhas also contributed one goal for the losing side.

Army Remounts opened the first chukker of the match with tremendous goal off 60-yard penalty hit by George Meyrick to have 1-0 lead. Both the teams then kept on attacking each other’s goal and after a tough tussle, Max Charlton came from behind and slammed two back-two-back goals to help Learning Alliance end the chukker having 2-1 lead.

George once again scored the first goal of the second chukker to level the score at 2-2. But Adnan Jalil then hit a field goal to give Learning Alliance 3-2 lead which couldn’t stay long as Major Haseeb hammered a field goal to draw the score at 3-3 before the end of the chukker.

Ahmed Ali Tiwana started the highly-charged third chukker with his field goal to provide Learning Alliance 4-3 lead but Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi once again drew the blood at 4-4. Learning Alliance then played very aggressive polo and produced a hat-trick through two goals by Max and one by Ahmed Tiwana which gave Learning Alliance unbeatable 7-4 lead.

Ahmed Tiwana further improved the lead to 8-4 in the fourth chukker through his impressive field goal while George Meyrick hit one to reduce the lead to 8-5 before the end of the chukker. It was all about Army Remounts in the fifth and last chukker as they hammered two back-to-back goals but this too less for them to register victory.

In the second match of the day, Diamond Paints proved too hot for Sabiha Anees routing them 9-6 to record a crucial win which was must for them to strengthen their position to qualify for the final. Saqib Khan Khakwani was star of the day as he hammered double hat-trick for Diamond Paints while Santiago Cernadas produced another hat-trick for the winners. For the losing side, Pedro Zacharias was top scorer with goals and Shah Qubilai Alam contributed one but they couldn’t save their team from the loss.

The third and last match of the day between Dollar East/Master Paints and Master Paints/Habib Metro was a treat to watch as it proved highly thrilling one till the end and it was Hamza Mawaz Khan and Juan Cruz Losada who made it a day for Dollar East/Master Paints who defeated spirited Master Paints/Habib Metro by 11-9.

Hamza Mawaz stole the show with his sterling seven goals and was star in Dollar East/Master Paints victory while Losada contributed significant three and Bilal Haye added one. For the losing side, Hissam Ali Hyder slammed seven goals while Mumtaz Abbas Niazi and Sufi Amir added one goal each.

Ambassador Republic of Argentina Rodolfo J. Martin-Saravia was chief guest on the occasion while LPC chief Irfan Ali Hyder along with former LPC presidents Ishaq Khan Khakwani, Abdul Qadir Mamdot, Abdul Haye Mehta and sizeable crowd was also present there.