Stories by Albert Akota
The defending champions of the Guards Brigade Trophy, Trade Mark began their campaign in this year’s Abuja Guards Polo Tournament on a bright note defeating Makblo 3-1.
Mark edged out Unity Bank by 4½ to 4 goals to lift the Guards Trophy last year.
The annual competition which is in its fifth edition, has been tagged the “Centenary Unity Tournament’’ in commemoration of Nigeria’s centenary.
The Guards Brigade Trophy match between Makblo and Trade Mark surprisingly saw Makblo starting off the encounter in superb form as they took the lead through their captain, Isa Makarfi in the first chukka.
The defending champions would however outpace their opponents in a pulsating four-chukka encounter scoring two goals in the second chukka through their highly-rated player, Hamisu Buba.
The latter put things beyond doubt when he beat the horn to score his hat-trick in the third chukka.
Aliyu Umar who doubles as the captain of Trade Mark as well as the tournament manager said that this year’s competition was actually living up to its billing as the strongest ever in the history of the competition.
“You could see that our opponents really gave us a fight today, taking the lead in the first chukka.
“We played with a very good team who are very tactical and play with high speed.
“We won but I must tell you that it was a very hard-earned victory.
Umar said that he was confident that his team would defend their trophy adding that, there was more to come from the team.
Makblo’s team captain, Isah Makarfi who is based in UK on his part said that it was a very good game, adding that the trophy was still up for grabs.
“Even though winning the first game always gives you confidence going into your next game, we will not give up.
“We will put up a better fight in our next game and I am very much optimistic that we will bounce back,” he said.
In other games played earlier, NSK trashed Abuja Guards Club Team 9 – 2½ in the Guards Challenge category, while SUL beat Ayutan 6½ to 5 at the end of a grueling encounter.
The week-long tournament which started on Tuesday, May 20 is expected to end on Sunday, May 25.