HH President of UAE Cup glory for Desert Palm

Desert Palm, buoyed by the red-hot form of highly regarded Argentine veteran Bartoleme ‘Lolo’ Castagnola, overwhelmed UAE by 10 goals to 8 to win the prestigious HH President of the UAE Polo Cup presented by Premier Motors Maserati at Racing & Polo Club on Friday, March 29.

Bartoleme, a former 10-goal player who currently has a 6-goal handicap, blasted home seven times in a dominating display of high-class polo, befitting his former high handicap. He was well supported by his brother, Camilo Castagnola, who scored twice, and Refino Bensadon, both 5-goal players.

For the UAE, the exciting Tomy Panelo (4-goal) sent home five goals, with fellow-Argentinian Alejendro Muzzio accounting for the other two.

HH Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the patron of UAE, stood like a rock in the defense and when the opportunity came, took the fight to the rivals. Overall, it was a well-contested match, befitting such a prestigious tournament, which featured six teams. However, Desert Palm seemed to perform better of the two squads on the day and led from the second chukker onwards. UAE were bidding for a third trophy of the season, having earlier won the Emirates Open Polo Cup and the Silver Cup earlier this year.

Rashid Al Bawardi, the patron of Desert Palm, commented after the match: “First of all, I want to thank Ghantoot for organising such a great tournament. It was a great atmosphere and a great crowd who were with us all the way to the end.

“UAE are one of the best team’s in the country for a reason, and they showed it today with their strong performance.

“I also want to thank my team for the consistency they have showed all through the tournament. We only lost one game, so that was good. We look forward to playing more exciting and competitive matches and good luck to all teams for the future.”

hantoot Polo Team claimed a consolation win when they defeated Abu Dhabi Polo Team in the Sub-Final. The hosts won by nine goals to eight.

The HH President of the UAE Cup was organised by Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club under the patronage of its founder, HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and presented by Premier Motors Maserati.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council is the Governing Partner. The event was held in association with Emirates Polo Association and presented by Premier Motors Maserati.