| Fadhil Yunus |
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to take part in a two-day charity polo tournament for Yayasan Children’s Cancer Foundation (YASKA) at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club in Jerudong yesterday.
The tournament saw the participation of four teams comprising His Majesty, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen and Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah.
The Black Team led by His Majesty comprised of Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah, YAM Pengiran Muda Bahar and highly-rated Argentine polo player Pablo Mac Donough.
The White Team was led by Pehin Orang Kaya Maharaja Diraja Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Abdul Wahab bin Haji Mohammad Said and comprised of Farid Abdullah, Huzaimi Haji Mahari and Nacho Novillo Astrada.
In a scintillating match between the Black Team and White Team, His Majesty lead his team to the Richard Mille Gold Cup final after guiding them to a 7-5 victory against the White Team.
The Black Team started with all guns blazing with His Majesty scoring the first goal before the White Team evened the scores via a Farid Abdullah penalty.
Her Royal Highness impressed for the Blacks and was simply unplayable at times. In one instance, she was seen charging forward with great purpose and desire before unleashing a precise finish to put her team in control.
With the game at 6-5 in the fourth and final chukka, Her Royal Highness produced a stunning goal to confirm her side’s passage to the final today against the Red Team, who won against the Grey Team in another tightly contested semi-final match.
In another polo classic, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah and his Greys were beaten 6-5 by the Red Team led by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen, who scored the winner.
The Grey Team led by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah comprised of Ploy Bhing Sing, Amr Zedan and Alejandro Agote.
The Red Team led by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen comprised of YAM Pengiran Anak Haji ‘Abdul’ Ali Yil-Kabier bin Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz, Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pehin Orang Kaya Lela Pahlawan (Rtd) Major General Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Muhammad Jaafar and Lucas Monteverde.
The Greys started with more intent with His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah hitting the post twice in between Alejandro Agote’s strike.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen produced a brilliant run before providing a clean strike to even the scores out.
Thai professional rider Ploy Bhing Sing checked her pony on her difficult side, picked her left side before dragging the ball into the right side to set up an incredible goal in a brilliant individual move.
His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen seemed destined to score but Agote saved the shot before it crossed the line.
The efficient Agote drove down the field with a sublime pass but Amr dragged his shot wide.
Aziz emerged the quickest at the start of the third chukka but was taken by an unfortunate bounce when a goal looked certain. However, he had a second bite of the cherry to extend his side’s lead the next occasion he received the ball.
It was an intense duel between YAM Pengiran Anak Haji ‘Abdul’ Ali Yil-Kabier and Agote as the former stole the Argentine off possession prompting a breakaway move for His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.
Agote tied the game for the Greys before Lucas Montervede regained the lead for the Reds.
The Grey team ensured a nervy finish with a late equaliser before His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen struck the winner to book a place in Monday’s final.
The losing semi-finalists, the Grey and the White teams, will play in the Silver Cup final.