NAIROBI, Kenya- Sensational Nairobi Polo Club captain, Raphael Nzomo scored a brace against Space & Style to lead Samurai to the finals of Maria Bencivenga Polo Tournament at Jahmhuri Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday.
Samurai triumphed 4-1 in the one-sided match to book a berth in the final match where they are poised to meet arch rivals Royal Salute on Sunday.
Nzomo’s children, Amani and Hiromi, added the two other goals that sealed the deal.
Space & Style captain, Lorenzo Soriano scored the lone goal for his side who were relegated to the subsidiary tie.
“We are holding this annual tournament in honor of our late player, Maria Bencivenga, she was instrumental for growth of polo in this club and Kenya at large,” said Nzomo.
“The contest is very fast and beginners are finding it hard to cope, most players are using the occasion to test their newly acquired ponies ahead of forthcoming Kenya Open.
“Both teams are focused to win this coveted trophy,” added Nzomo
At the same time, former Nairobi Polo Club captain, Vishal Somaia, scored a brace against R.J Polo to lead Royal Salute to the finals.
Royal Salute won the energy sapping match 2-0. Somaia notched all the goals in the opening chukka. He converted a penalty in the third minute before sealing the deal with a field goal in the 10th minute.
“We had great teamwork in the field, our strategy worked out perfectly,” Royal Salute captain, Mike du Toit, stated.
“We made our defense compact and ensured possession was on our side throughout. We harassed them constantly to deny them (R.J Polo) scoring chances on our goal area.
“I’m glad our new player, Magda Jurkowicka, played her defensive role very well, her antics assisted us with the goals,” du Toit added.
Louis Roumeguere, who raked in five goals last weekend, was in an upbeat mood for helping Royal Salute to make it to the finals.
“Our strategy in the finals will be constant communication to avoid any mix-up in our team. We want to be efficient in all areas to increase our chances of lifting the trophy,” Roumeguere said.
Royal Salute also overcame Mombasa Island Cargo Terminal (MICT) to win 3.5-2 in a very tight encounter.
The winners, who started the match with a fraction goal advantage, scored through Somaia, du Toit and Roumeguere to bag the all-important points.
Nairobi Polo Club chairman, Phillip Arungah, pulled back two goals for MICT, but his splendid moves were not enough to rescue his side from the jaws of Royal Salute who had all their act together.
MICT redeemed themselves in their second encounter against R.J Polo who they edged 1-0. The solitary goal was scored by Sammy Kiarie in the opening period.
MICT 1 R.J Polo 0
Royal Salute 2 R.J Polo 0
Royal Salute 3.5 MICT 2
Samurai 4 Space & Style 1