MHF Coach Ed Banner-Eve has been playing abroad over the new year period. He took a trip to the polo hub that is Pakistan where he joined “The Lions” sponsored by Master Paints, Jubilee and Habib Metro Bank to play a series of 4 tournaments at the Lahore Polo Club.
Having travelled from the UK and headed straight for the pitch for the first 8 goal match, the team struggled as they battled tiredness and got used to the horses and playing with one another - having fought hard, they lost by just a goal. This did absolutely nothing to dampen spirits, the team rallied and steamed through the subsequent 3 games in the tournament throwing the goals up on the board and beating everyone they played. Having beat the competition by 7 goals in both the second and third matches, they battled in the sub-final to come victorious by 1 goal and clinch 3rd place. The second 8 goal tournament was an continuation of their winning streak, with The Lions storming all the way to the final, being pipped to the post by just 1/2 a goal by virtue of the fact that they were fielding a 6 goal team.
The next two tournaments saw a shake up of the team and their entry into the 10 goal with a 9 goal team. Their performance did not falter and they came out victorious in both competitions, including the Pakistan Polo Cup - no mean feat considering they faced Pakistani Polo No. 1 “Namu” and won. Ed was credited with giving the team the edge in the intense final as he put the only goal of the third chukka between the posts before he and Hamza each scored in the final chukka to win 5.5 - 2.
Ed returned to the UK this week and is full of praise for the generous hospitality, superb horses (most of which were direct from Argentina) and the smooth organisation by the Lahore Polo Club, enabling the tournaments to be enjoyed massively by all involved. Despite two tumbles, Ed returned unscathed and is looking ahead to the rest of the UK winter season playing with MHF at home and away - the rain notwithstanding. Personal thanks from Ed go to Aun and Talib Rizvi, Sufi Farooq and Hamza Mawaz.