LAHORE      -        Helped by hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Diamond Paints beat Master Paints Black by 6-5 to clinch the Samba Bank-sponsored Lt Gen Shah Rafi Alam Memorial Polo Cup, which concluded here on Sunday.

Besides the hat-trick of Raja Arslan Najeeb, Jack William Hyde, Mir Shoaib Ahmed and Mir Huzaifa Ahmed also contributed one goal each in Diamond Paints. From Master Paints, Mariano Regal was the key player who struck a quartet while Bilal Haye converted one goal, but their efforts were futile in the end.

Diamond Paints were off to a flying start as they thrashed two back-to-back goals to have 2-0 lead in the first chukker. Master Paints fought back well in the second chukker as they converted two goals against one by Diamond Paints, who were still enjoying a slight 3-2 lead by the end of the second chukker.

Diamond Paints played better polo in the third chukker and prevailed over Master Paints by hammering a hat-trick against one goal by their opponents to enjoy 6-3 edge. In the fourth and last chukker, Master Paints made a good comeback and banged in an impressive brace to reduce the margin to 6-5 and then launched a series of attacks on Diamond Paints’ goal, but they couldn’t succeed in converting the equaliser, thus lost the final by 5-6.

Samba Bank President and CEO Shahid Sattar graced the concluding ceremony as chief guest and he, along with Mrs Tameez Alam and LPC President Malik Atif Yaar Tiwana, distributed prizes among the winners and position holders. Also present on the occasion were LPC executive committee members Mir Shoaib Ahmed, Agha Najeeb Raza, Secretary Lt Col (R) Mudassar Shareef, Samba Bank Senior Vice President Umar Liaqat, late Lt Gen Shah Rafi Alam’s sons Shah Qublai Alam and Shah Shamyl Alam, players and their families and polo enthusiast.

Meanwhile in the subsidiary final, Barry’s beat Monnoo Polo/Guard Group by 6½-6. Ernesto Trotz was fired in fabulous five goals while Jameel Barry hit one. From the losing side, Amirreza Behboudi scored five goals while Saqib Khan Khakwani converted one.


Talking to media after winning the final, Diamond Paints’ Mir Shoaib Ahmed said: “We have worked really hard, which paid off in shape of title triumph. Although the entire event, including final, was very tough and challenging, yet we played better polo and succeeded in lifting the trophy. We are hopeful of doing well in the upcoming events and try to win more titles.”

Mir Huzaifa Ahmed of Diamond Paints said: “It was a great feeling to win the trophy while playing along with my father Mir Shoaib Ahmed. Our team combination was very good and we also played like a unit, which helped us clinch the coveted trophy.”