Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, Saturday November 10, 2012: It was the closest of matches but new team, St Regis, emerged the 6-5 victors over ADCB at the third renewal of Pink Polo.
St Regis may have won on the end, but it was the defending title-holders, ADCB, who started best, scoring twice in the opening chukker, courtesy of Emirati player, Ali Al Marri and Argentine professional, Oscar Colombres.
St Regis came back in the second chukker with a goal from their Argentine player, Nicolas Petrachi. But St Regis had obviously been given a stern half-time team talk and came out of the pony lines fighting for the third chukker. Ahmed Bin Desmal, Nasser Al Shamsi and Petrachi all scored for the hotel side, while ADCB could not reply. The warring teams went into the last chukker all square. A penalty for ADCB, taken by Colombres put the bank team in front but a fantastic backhand from Abdullah Bin Desmal put the score at evens again. And ADCB’s fate was finally sealed when Petrachi buried an extra-time penalty to give St Regis the Pink Polo title at the first time of asking.
Ahmed bin Desmal, from St Regis Polo Team said: “It turned out to be a very close game and it is always gratifying when you can come out on top in those situations. At the end of the day it was a penalty which decided the match, which just shows how close the two tams were and the importance of trying to stay calm under pressure and not give away easy points.“We are very pleased with this result and now look forward to the rest of the season.”
Nasser Al Dhari, from defending champions, ADCB Polo Team said: “It is disappointing to lose by such a narrow margin, but I am heartened by the fact that we started so strongly and did not let our heads drop. “It really could have gone either way, but of course we wish it had gone our way. We have plenty to look forward to this season though and we will only improve for this match.”
The on-pitch drama played out in front thousands of spectators as well as a host of dignitaries, including HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, HH Sheikh Shakhboot Bin Nahayan Al Nahayan, HE Saeed Bin Houfan Al Mansoori, Vice Chairman of hosts, Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, HE Zayd Al Saksak, CEO Health Authority Abu Dhabi and HE Qadhi Al Murooshid, Director General of Dubai Health Authority.
Pink Polo is a sporting initiative that aims to raise awareness of breast cancer throughout the UAE community. ADCB’s Dr. Majdi Abd El Muhdi, Vice President, Head – Corporate Communications said: “As a bank we have been the presenting partner of Pink Polo since its launch three years ago. It has been gratifying to watch it grow under our support into the major sporting initiative that we witnessed today. Not only were the spectators treated to some first-class polo action and free family entertainment I our ADCB garden, they were also introduced to a life-saving message that we hope they will take home with them and make part of their every day lives.”
Paul James, global brand leader, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, and W Hotels & Resorts, was attending Pink Polo for the first time. “Pink Polo marked St. Regis’s first foray into the exhilarating sport of polo in the Middle East and we are thrilled to support one of the most important breast cancer awareness campaigns in the region through this glamorous event at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club in Abu Dhabi. To come away as the winning team on this important community occasion is the icing on the cake!”
Pink Polo is supported by official partners: ADAC, Etihad Airways, Mercedes –Benz Emirates Motors company, Omnia and Roche as well as Government supporting partners Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Health Authority Abu Dhabi and Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club.
1. St. Regis (+5)
Abdulla Bin Desmal (0)
Ahmed Bin Desmal (0)
Nasser Al Shamsi (+1)
Nicolas Petrachi (+4)
2. ADCB (+6)
Ali Al Merri (0)
Ahmed Al Nuaimi (0)
Nasser Al Dhari (+1)
Oscar Colombres (+5)