The prestigious Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield’2013 Polo Tournament which started two weeks ago, came to a delightful climax with new comers, Auden Kangimi team edging the ambitious Keffi Ponys in a tense final to win their first ever Charity Shield.
Within three days of explosive battles, the four teams’ high-goal showdown narrowed to two finalists with Auden Kangimi defeating the hard fighting Keffi Ponys10-9 in a closely fought final to clinch glittering title. Living up to its competitive tradition, this year’s Charity Shield final was a neck –to- neck confrontation with Keffi Ponys parading Aliyu Wadada, Hamisu Buba, Frankie Menendez and Santiago Sernadas jumping to 3-1 lead in the opening chukkas.
But their lead soon fizzle out after a strong showing by the quartet of Babangida Hassan, Mancini Oscar, Diego White and Musty Fashinro in Auden Kangimi colours, drew level in the fourth chukka. The two rivals, who were eyeing their first Charity shield title, gave the highly anticipated crowd plenty to cheer for as the lead change hands regularly, with Keffi Ponys looking menacingly close to cooking up a surprise upset.
The decisive fifth chukka put paid to Keffi’s ambition, as the home favourites, Kangimi pulled ahead with inspiring display from Hassan, Fashinro and White who scored the last goal to give Auden Kangimi a deserved victory. Access Bank/Fifth Chukker team who were eyeing their fourth title as defending champions, could not make it to the final after losing 8-4 to Keffi Ponys in the semi-final stage, while another new comer, MTN missed the final ticket on technical ground.
With a glittering shield and a whopping $20,000 winners-take –all cash prize in their kitty, Kangimi were truly in their best, defeating a crack field of top professionals in Access Bank UNICEF charity polo extravaganza that is reputed as the biggest in the continent. The fiercely fought final was watched by a discerning crowd that included the Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi who represented the Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the Charity Shield final.