The hugely successful 2018 Jos polo tournament that hit Plateau State with a bang came to a thrilling climax last week, with the Jos polo kings, Malcomines, Mineral resource team and Jos Red Crown writing their names in gold as proud winners of the prestigious winter polo fiesta.
For the fourth year running, the game of kings, polo was the biggest attraction of the annual festival that remains the biggest sports cum tourism event, attracting tourists and equestrian enthusiasts in their droves to the chilly Plateau State capital city every year.
The prestigious fiesta that puts Jos on the polo map as one of the polo playing cities in the world saw Murtala Laushi led Jos Malcomines defeating arch rivals, Yola BSC in a tense final, to defend the Governor’s Cup , and confirmed their supremacy on the event’s biggest prize they have now won a record five times back-to-back.
Playing with the full complement of their patron and superior experiences of Nigeria’s top rated Hamisu Buba, Murtala Aliyu and Sadiq Garba ensure the title remains in Jos, with a narrow 31/2-3 win over eventual runners-up, Yolaa BSC boosting the likes of Tanko Ayuba, Asharaf Yahaya, Aliyu Dahiru, and Jamilu Umar,
After a weeklong of top class polo and nerve wrecking competition, the winter polo fiesta that attracted top teams from across the country climaxed in a dramatic fashion in the medium-goal category, with debutants, West African Mineral Trading team and Jos Jengere out gunning all comers, to finish winners and runners-up respectively win the highly sort after NASCO Cup title race.
Parading Nasiru Tabaco, Usman idris, Abba Mohammed and top gun, Hamisu Buba, the mineral marketing team who were vying for their first major polo title, in Jos, finished with a bang, defeating eventual runners-up, Jos Jengere side in a titanic final game.
The low-goal cup that pitted top rivals Yola, Bauchi and Katsina, saw the Samy Nasreddin led Red Crown parading the trio of Salman Solo, Ahmed Illiyasu and pivot, Usman Idris out pacing their Yola Yelwa opponents in a hotly contested final, to clinch the glittering President Cup on first attempt.
The Red Crown victory was the icing on the cake for the celebrating Jos polo buffs and a crowning moment for the host club that has now broken the jinx of sweeping all the major titles at stake, thanks of course to the commanding and consistence display of their flagship team and kings of polo in the plateau, Malcomines.
Organized under the auspices of the Nigeria Polo Federation (NPF) and staged at the foremost general Hassan Polo Ground, the winter event that was hosted as part of efforts at restoring peace in the centre of peace & tourism, became the highlight of the xmas holiday season, as thousands of residents throng the serene polo ground on Joseph Comwalk Road to be part of the carnival.
Special Guest of Honour, the Plateau State Governor, Barrister Bako Lalong, who was represented at the closing ceremony by the state commissioner of Youths & Sports, Victor Lapang reiterated government determination and willingness to invest more in polo game to encourage youths participation in the sports.
One of the major corporate sponsors, NASCO Group says its patronage was to mobilize and involve especially the youths from all walks of life to compete and share in an atmosphere of mutuality and ensure the promotion and sustenance of peace in the State.
Group Corporate Communications/Compliance Advisor, NASCO Group Nigeria, Haroun Audu, who addressed the closing ceremony pointed out that the 2018 event is aimed to amplify the values of love and togetherness to bring out the best of our shared humanity, particularly among the young people.
An elated Tournament Manager, Murtala Laushi thanked the invited guests, players and the surging crowd for being part of the fiesta. He stated that the high profile event that has remained the biggest sporting annual event for many decades has impacted positively on the tourism drive of Jos and Plateau State generally.
“I want to thank all our patrons and sponsors for making this event a huge success. I also want to specially thank the our sports loving Governor Bako Lalong, Plateau State Government for their immense supports and members of the organizing committee who sacrifice their time and efforts for this grand event,” Laushi declared.
“We are also happy to say that we have used this polo tournament to let polo enthusiasts, Jos residents the business communities and the entire citizens of Plateau State, to know that peace has finally return to the state as evident by the huge crowd that witness the tournament on a daily basis for the past eight days,” Jos Polo Club President, Umaru Dauda pointed out in his closing remarks.
Jos Polo Captain Yusuf Dauda, who described the tournament as a huge success, thank all the players, the invited guests and the teeming polo buffs who arrived in their droves, for their support in making the fiesta a memorable one.
“On behalf of the Tournament Committee and the club management, let me assure all who made this event the highlight of the holiday season, that next year would be much bigger and more exciting,” Jos polo Captain, Dauda enthused .