MPSC-A claim Hazari state polo crown
IMPHAL, 8th FEB: A dazzling fourth-chukker surge by Khurai Polo Club could not prevent Manipur Police Sports Club (MPSC)-A from laying their hands on the silverware of the 32nd N Hazari & Dr N Tombi State Polo Tournament on Wednesday at Mapal Kangjeibung. Riding on H Abung’s scoring heroics, MPSC shrugged off a four-goal last-chukker challenge from Khurai to seal a thrilling 6-5 title triumph.
The police riders jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period and laid the foundations for the victory. H Abung took less than two minutes to smash in the opener and S Bimol upped the pace moments later. And seconds after Bimol’s goal, Abung pulled off another successful strike before O Roger found the breakthrough for Khurai.
After a strong showing in the opening period, MPSC went into a lull in the next chukker and the same went for their opponents as both teams ended up in a goalless second chukker. Despite a barren second period, MPSC kept their 3-1 lead intact and the team gained further ground in the third chukker when an erroneous act by Thomson gifted the police side their fourth goal. And towards the end of the chukker, Abung compounded Khurai’s woes when he slotted home his third goal to make it 5-1.
It looked as if MPSC were on for an emphatic victory but they were given the jitters in the last chukker as their opponents mounted a spirited challenge that earned them four goals. Roger made up for his third-period own goal by picking up a pair goals in the fourth chukker and Roger too came up with a double in a losing cause. Bimol’s goal was all MPSC needed to tilt the scales in their favour for the trophy.
The final match was attended by H Deleep Singh, IAS, commissioner (YAS and Art and Culture), S Budhachandra Singh, retd IAS, honorary president, MHRPA, Dr H Chaoba Singh, director, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, and Naorem Ongbi Sanatombi Devi as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively. Champions Manipur Police Sports Club (MPSC)-A received a prize money of Rs 40,000 while Khurai Polo Club were given Rs 30,000.
Moirangthem Manihar Singh was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA) in recognition of his sportsmanship and dedication to the Polo game in the state. Two veteran Polo players Yumnam Zilla Singh and Kshetrimayum Joykumar singh were also honoured by MHRPA, the tournament organiser.