Manipur lifts the 12th Manipur Polo International

Written By: / Friday, 30 November 2018 16:48

By : Wahengbam Tiken

Manipur lifted the 12th Manipur Polo International 2018 by defeating England 7-4 yesterday in a thrilling match yesterday. The match was much more keenly contested than the score line suggests. The English team made the local boys fight for every inch of the field and every goal. Though they might be disappointed at losing today, they should take heart from the fact that they have been making steady progress every year and have made it all the way to the final this time around.
Just 14 seconds into the match, Manipur scored their first goal when P Ojit collected a ball from Kaoba and shot ahead and tapped in. Then in the 2.11th minute, Kaoba intercepted a backhand from Ben Eeley near    the English goal and shot home to make it 2-0. Ben pulled one back for England with a beautiful 60 yards penalty in the 4.53rdminute. Ojit had another good chance of scoring another goal in this chukker but George Amor saved his shot at the goal line. The first chukker ended with Manipur leading 2-1.
Early in the 2nd chukker, Ojit had another golden opportunity to add another goal when he latched on to a missed backhander from Ben Eeley but his shot missed the goal by a whisker . Then in the 2.44th minute, Bimol managed to snatch the ball from George Shelton and shot home stretching the team’s lead to 3-1. In the 3.27th minute George Amor picked up a loose ball and fired in to narrow the lead to one goal. But just when it looked like the English team would catch up, Pradeep came to the party and scored the fourth goal for the host team.
The 3rd chukker was evenly matched and both the teams added two goals each to their tally. But this was not good enough for the English team, taking into account the way the local lads were playing, they needed to narrow down the lead going into the last chukker. For Manipur, Kaoba scored in the 3.06th minute but seconds later Henry Amor scored for England in the 3.27th minute. Then his brother George put in another one to make it 4-5. But Ojit yet again scored for Manipur to maintain a comfortable lead of two goals. The score read 6-4 at the end of the 3rd chukker.
The last chukker also turned out to be very hard fought one. Fortune swung from one side to the other, defense turning into attack and vice versa. It was only towards the end of the chukker that Ojit managed to pick up a pass from Kaoba shot in to score his third goal. Manipur won 7-4 to lift the 12thManipur Polo International 2018.
George Shelton, the English captain despite losing out in the final seemed mighty pleases with his team’s performance in this edition of the Manipur Polo International, “the best year for the team in the history of this tournament”. He considers his team reaching the final a satisfying achievement as they did so after beating USA and Uruguay, two very tough teams. This year’s team, which he says, is the most balanced, “has been learning from its mistakes and tried to improve with every chukker”. He considers all the Manipuri players very dangerous as they can all score goals and Bimol is a great leader at the back. George is also quite impressed with Leishemba, “he is a player to watch out in future”.
“Going into the final, we were quite confident of beating England as we had already beaten them in the league match.” But he conceded that the English team played very well and put up a tough fight. George Shelton according to him had a great match today. Among the teams, Bimol feels that the Americans are fast getting the hang of the Manipuri Ponies. He counts Pedro Lara, Jaun Fernandez and George Amor among those he found most impressive in this tournament. Bimol dedicated this win to the team’s coach, manager, president and other members of MHRPA and his family. 

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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