Desert Palm-1, in blue, held off a late challenge from Zedan to win the President of the UAE Cup at Ghantoot on Friday night. Delores Johnson / The National
Desert Palm-1, in blue, held off a late challenge from Zedan to win the President of the UAE Cup at Ghantoot on Friday night. Delores Johnson / The National

Wonder goal from Rashid Al Bawardi powers Desert Palm-1 to polo title



GHANTOOT // Desert Palm-1 left the best for last to clinch the President of the UAE Cup polo final in a 10-9 thriller over Zedan of Saudi Arabia on Friday night at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.

They led 10-7 through a brilliant goal from Rashid Al Bawardi, who powered his horse almost the entire length of the polo field to put his team three goals ahead with more than three minutes left in the final chukka.

Zedan fired two quick goals to close the gap, but Al Bawardi’s “goal of the night” stood good at the end for his team to clinch the tie in the 18-handicap ­tournament.

“I am still trying to think how I did it,” Al Bawardi said when asked to describe his solo effort after the presentation ceremony. “Perhaps it will take a couple of hours for that to sink in.”

Last year, Desert Palm-2, led by Al Bawardi’s brother Tariq, were winners, and Rashid was ecstatic that the title will remain in the family home in Dubai for another year.

“It was good team effort,” Rashid Al Bawardi said. “It was a very competitive competition with a majority of the matches going to the wire. We are glad we won at the end.

“We will celebrate this win tonight. It is a good feeling to keep this coveted title in the family home for another year.”

Desert Palm-1 led 2-1 at the end of the first chukka through their Argentine professional Santiago Laborde’s double, with compatriot and 10-goal handicapper Pablo MacDonough getting one in between for Zedan.

Zedan led the second chukka 3-2 with MacDonough on target twice and Martin Gandara scoring the other.

They went 6-3 up in the next with two more goals from MacDonough and Laborde pulling one back.

Martin Valent made it 6-4, and Al Bawardi closed it to one-goal before MacDonough regained the two-goal cushion.

Laborde and Al Bawardi then both scored twice within two minutes to level the scores at 7-7 in the penultimate chukka.

Laborde put them two goals ahead in the first three minutes of play in the final chukka before Al Bawardi’s spectacular effort.

Gandara and MacDonough – for his sixth in the match – struck late but with just 20 seconds left as Desert Palm-1 held on to emerge champions. “It is an amazing feeling to be in the winning side twice in two years,” said Laborde, who was a member of Desert Palm-2 last year.

“The third chukka made a big difference when they took a three-goal lead, but we managed to level the scores in the next and had a great final chukka to win.

“The teams were so evenly matched and competitive, even a three-goal lead was not safe. We were a bit lucky on the night.

“Rashid scored a great goal. I tapped the ball for him from in front of our own goal line and he showed remarkable control to take the ball all the way to the other end and score. That goal really saved us at the end.”

In the play-off for third place, Bin Drai overcame Team Abu Dhabi 12-6.

apassela@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Conservative MPs who have publicly revealed sending letters of no confidence
  1. Steve Baker
  2. Peter Bone
  3. Ben Bradley
  4. Andrew Bridgen
  5. Maria Caulfield​​​​​​​
  6. Simon Clarke
  7. Philip Davies
  8. Nadine Dorries​​​​​​​
  9. James Duddridge​​​​​​​
  10. Mark Francois
  11. Chris Green
  12. Adam Holloway
  13. Andrea Jenkyns
  14. Anne-Marie Morris
  15. Sheryll Murray
  16. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  17. Laurence Robertson
  18. Lee Rowley
  19. Henry Smith
  20. Martin Vickers
  21. John Whittingdale
The biog

Name: Salvador Toriano Jr

Age: 59

From: Laguna, The Philippines

Favourite dish: Seabass or Fish and Chips

Hobbies: When he’s not in the restaurant, he still likes to cook, along with walking and meeting up with friends.

'HIJRAH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PROPHET'

Edited by: Idries Trevathan
Pages: 240
Publisher: Hirmer Publishers
Available: Now

MATCH DETAILS

Manchester United 3

Greenwood (21), Martial (33), Rashford (49)

Partizan Belgrade 0

Getting there
Flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Tbilisi from Dh1,025 return including taxes

'Will of the People'

Artist: Muse
Label: Warner
Rating: 2.5/5

RACE CARD

6.30pm Mazrat Al Ruwayah – Group 2 (PA) $36,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $68,000 (Turf) 2,410m

7.40pm Meydan Trophy – Conditions (TB) $50,000 (T) 1,900m

8.15pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 - Group 2 (TB) $293,000 (D) 1,900m

8.50pm Al Rashidiya – Group 2 (TB) $163,000 (T) 1,800m

9.25pm Handicap (TB) $65,000 (T) 1,000m

SPECS

Nissan 370z Nismo

Engine: 3.7-litre V6

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Power: 363hp

Torque: 560Nm

Price: Dh184,500

Company profile

Name: WonderTree
Started: April 2016
Co-founders: Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Usman
Based: Karachi, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Delaware, US
Sector: Special education, education technology, assistive technology, augmented reality
Number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Growth
Investors: Grants from the Lego Foundation, UAE's Anjal Z, Unicef, Pakistan's Ignite National Technology Fund

Top investing tips for UAE residents in 2021

Build an emergency fund: Make sure you have enough cash to cover six months of expenses as a buffer against unexpected problems before you begin investing, advises Steve Cronin, the founder of DeadSimpleSaving.com.

Think long-term: When you invest, you need to have a long-term mindset, so don’t worry about momentary ups and downs in the stock market.

Invest worldwide: Diversify your investments globally, ideally by way of a global stock index fund.

Is your money tied up: Avoid anything where you cannot get your money back in full within a month at any time without any penalty.

Skip past the promises: “If an investment product is offering more than 10 per cent return per year, it is either extremely risky or a scam,” Mr Cronin says.

Choose plans with low fees: Make sure that any funds you buy do not charge more than 1 per cent in fees, Mr Cronin says. “If you invest by yourself, you can easily stay below this figure.” Managed funds and commissionable investments often come with higher fees.

Be sceptical about recommendations: If someone suggests an investment to you, ask if they stand to gain, advises Mr Cronin. “If they are receiving commission, they are unlikely to recommend an investment that’s best for you.”

Get financially independent: Mr Cronin advises UAE residents to pursue financial independence. Start with a Google search and improve your knowledge via expat investing websites or Facebook groups such as SimplyFI. 

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Western Region Asia Cup Qualifier

Results

UAE beat Saudi Arabia by 12 runs

Kuwait beat Iran by eight wickets

Oman beat Maldives by 10 wickets

Bahrain beat Qatar by six wickets

Semi-finals

UAE v Qatar

Bahrain v Kuwait

 


Abtal

Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      Abtal