A thriller all the way

Published : Jan 12, 2012 00:00 IST

The Calcutta Polo Club players with the Ezra Cup.-
The Calcutta Polo Club players with the Ezra Cup.-

The Calcutta Polo Club players with the Ezra Cup.-

With a scintillating display of good horsemanship and woodwork, the players wooed the audience. By S. Sabanayakan.

Every year in December, the picturesque Pat Williamson ground in Kolkata turns into a beehive of activity. The year 2011 was no exception as the piece de resistance of the season, the Ezra Cup, was played with great fanfare.

It was a thrilling moment for the local side, Calcutta Polo Club, when it emerged the champion of the BFL Corp Ezra World Cup, defeating the team from Italy, Rome, by 6 goals to 4.5. In a scintillating display of good horsemanship and woodwork, the players wooed the audience. So thrilling was the contest that the last goal was scored in the dying moments. Starting with an advantage of 0.5 goals, Rome began well but failed to sustain the tempo against CPC which played a fluent and effective game.

George Meyrick led the scoring for CPC with three goals. Major Vishal Chauhan added a brace while Colonel Tarun Sirohi scored the solitary field goal. For Rome, Gofferdo C. Rendina scored two and Santiago Buzzi scored a brace.

Earlier, Rome qualified for the final by defeating what was arguably the best team of the tournament, Carnoustie of the U.S., by a narrow margin of 0.5 goal. The final score read 5.5 to 5 goals in favour of Rome.

The spectators witnessed great heroics by Carlos Gracida, perhaps the highest handicap player in the world. Playing for Carnoustie, he scored all the five goals. For Rome, which enjoyed a 0.5-goal handicap, Boris Bignoli got one and Gofferdo C. Rendina scored the rest.

The tournament also had a team from Indonesia called Nausantara. It failed to make an impact on the meet while the other Indian team, Army Polo Riding Club, caused a few surprises before bowing out.

On December 25, the players from Manipur, with a traditional Manipuri Polo Match, gave the spectators a glimpse of history. The army band added colour to the celebration with their synchronised performances of flute, pipes and drums. The Polo Ball lived up to its promise of entertainment and excitement adding dazzle to the night of lively entertainment.

The CPC, headed by its president, Keshav Bangur, did a wonderful job of organising the event. “It's a moment of pride for me and the committee members to have hosted the Ezra Cup and to have brought the world of polo population together to this magnificent venue. We had a terrific tournament and the game was celebrated in its full glory. This is just the beginning of the celebration of the 150th year of the club and I feel very happy and proud to have led the show along with the relentless support of the Indian Polo Association and the Indian Army. I wish to encourage young players in the city to actively participate and join this game,'' he said.

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