Leighton Kings clinch Dapo Ojora Cup
New kids on the block, The Art Hotel Polo team, say they have put their acts together and now ready to take on all the obstacles on their way to a good finish at the Open Cup.
The Open Cup is one of the glamorous categories of the ongoing GTB Lagos International Polo Tournament, which began last weekend.
The Art Hotel, comprising Neku Edu, Sadiq Dantata, J.J de Alba from Mexico and Argentina’s Genaro Noriega, lost narrowly to Trojan Ark in their opening game of the Open Cup on Saturday. But the team, which says they learnt valuable lessons from their first outing, is now eyeing their first points on Thursday when they meet STL Shoreline.
Speaking on the team’s preparedness for Thursday, team leader, Neku Edu, said, “we have trained hard for our second game, which we hope to win.
“This is our first time playing at this level as we just put the team together, while most of our opponents have been at this level of competition for long. But that is no excuse because we have a crop of players eager to create records in the competition.”
Edun, who is the only lady in The Ark Hotel Polo squad, said being a women is not a handicap as “I have demonstrated that you can only underrate me at your peril. I am no longer new to other teams because they know what I can do. Our game against Shoreline will be fun and challenging because they have a strong team.”
Speaking on his experience playing in Nigeria, Mexico’s Alba said the challenge has been exciting and also rewarding.
“This is my first time in Nigeria and it has been fun. It is a new culture, with different types of players, but we are equal to the task.
“However, it is not easy to put up a team from the scratch, but we are working hard to overcome our shortcomings.
“We are getting used to the horses and also to our different playing styles. So, our next game will be much better and exciting than our first game. Come and be part of the fun,” he said.
Meanwhile, Leighton Kings have won the Adedapo Ojora Memorial Cup, a victory, which makes the Bowale-led side the first team to win a trophy in the ongoing GTCO Lagos International Polo Tournament. They beat Wiltten Aviation 12-3 1/2.
The tournament continues today with Trojan Ark confronting STL-Shoreline in what promises to be a tough clash. Trojan had a comfortable 13-6 win over Ark Hotel, but STL Shoreline are a tough side and may prove a hard nut to crack for the Kunle Tinubu-led Trojan Ark.
The second major cup would be decided this weekend when two top qualifiers in the Open Cup series would battle for the royal crown of the Oba of Lagos Cup.