Samurais triumph to Davis Cup final

Suki Shretta (left), playing for the Samurais team and Ed Burbidge of the Lady
Lori tussle for the ball during the Davis Cup tournament at the Nairobi Polo club,
on Saturday. [PHOTO: MARTIN MUKANGU/STANDARD]

By Oscar Pilipili

NAIROBI; KENYA: Samurais edged out Lady Lori Helicopters by a fraction of a goal, 5.5-5, in a high adrenaline preliminary match of Davis Cup to cruise into the final of the tournament at Nairobi Polo Club.

Samurais are drawn against Veuve Clicquote who beat Governors Camp 5-3 in the opening match of the season ending tournament on Saturday.

It was a great show of polo artistry from handicap 1.5 Raphael Nzomo of Samurais and handicap 0.5 Jonathan Stichbury of Lady Lori as the two players were responsible for all goals scored by respective teams.

Lady Lori took an early 2-0 lead in the first chukka but an onslaught from Nzomo inspired Samurais brought the scores to 2.5-2 in favor of the later.

Nzomo then scored twice in the third chukka to give Samurais 4.5-4 lead at the close of the third chukka.

Samurais’ fourth goal in the last seven minutes was the most dramatic as Nzomo picked a ball at center line and executed a long hit that landed near the goalmouth.

Nzomo atop his pacy horse then galloped towards the goal and tapped the ball twice from close range. His final hit had to smash the left post before going in amid wild cheers from ecstatic fans at Nairobi Polo Club.

The teams entered the competitive fourth chukka with Samurais enjoying a fraction of a goal advantage at 4.5-4.

And on change of scoring direction, Nzomo was in the act again when he converted a class goal to hand Samurais’ 5.5-4 goal advantage.

Great show

Lady Lori responded towards the end of the chukka when Stichbury converted a 40-yard penalty to bring the scores to 5.5-5 in favour Samurais. `

Veuve Clicquot beat Governors’ Camp 5-3 in the opening match of the tournament.

Handicap 0.0 Ruth Horsey handed Clicqout their first goal after she converted a penalty in the first chukka.

Clicquote scored their other goals through handicap 0.5 Mike du Toit who managed a goal each in the second and fourth chukka and a single from handicap 1.5 Karim Abbany.

Governors Camp replied through handicap -1.5 Martin Waiganjo who recorded brace with a goal each in the first and final chukka.

David Cup, started by Peter Davis, is the final tournament in the 2012 calendar of events. It was scheduled to take place in December but rains that were experienced during the month forced organisers to reschedule the tournament to this weekend.

The tournament ends today and would pave way for a three month break to allow horses to rest before action resumes in May.

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