06 March 2013
Abu Dhabi Club Faces Must-Win Clash With Defending Champions, Habtoor
Dubai 5th of March 2013: Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club claimed an 8-3 victory over Mahra Polo in the Dubai Gold Cup this evening (Tuesday) and now face the hurdle of a decisive clash against defending champions, Habtoor Polo before they can seal a place in the semi-final.
Ghantoot, who defeated Habtoor in a charity exhibition match on home turf just before the start of the two-week long Gold Cup, now find the tables turned as they go into their next game at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, the home ground of Habtoor.
The Royal club has suffered mixed fortunes in this tournament, defeating Zedan Polo in their opening round before losing to bogey team and fellow capital-based rivals, Abu Dhabi Polo, who also turfed them out of the Dubai Silver Cup at the semi-final stage last month.
Today’s victory will serve as a good confidence boost before the crunch match with Habtoor, but Ghantoot’s players are taking nothing for granted.
Ali Al Marri, Ghantoot’s Emirati player said: “We played well today and were happy to walk away with a win, but we are a long way from the final which is our ultimate goal in this tournament. We now look forward to our match with Habtoor having beaten them going into the event.
“Having said that, we don’t rest on our laurels. Habtoor are the form team in this competition, defending their trophy and playing with home advantage and they will be very tough.”
In today’s match Mahra Polo drew first blood, but it was not long before Ghantoot found their stride, ending the first chukker with a two goal advantage at 3-1.
The second chukker ended 5-2 to an increasingly confident-looking Ghantoot and by the end of the third chukker, the Abu Dhabi side were leading 8-2. Mahra scored a consolation goal in the fourth period, but never looked like challenging for the lead.
Ghantoot, who were in fourth place in the table going into this match, meet third-placed Habtoor at 4pm on Friday.