Team Radio Africa emerged top at the 2022 Maria Bencivenga Memorial Cup after defeating Team Airduka 3-2 at the Nairobi Polo Club this past weekend. Following a disruption in play on Saturday due to the sudden downpour in Nairobi, the polo action took place on Sunday in a Round Robin format.
The day kicked off with Team Airduka beating Team 24:7 by 3 goals to 1 in the first game, courtesy of a brace from Omwakwe Arungah (handicap 1), and Moses Wainaga (handicap 1.5) who rounded out the scoring for Team Airduka. Johnson Asenga, playing off handicap 1.5 scored Team 24:7’s consolation.
In the second game, Team 24:7 beat Team Tusker Malt, the winners of the Davis Cup Polo tournament, putting 3 and a fraction on the board, a one goal superiority to Two Tusker Malt’s 2 and a fraction. The goals in this game came from Fredd Kambo (Handicap 0) and Johnson Asenga.
The third game saw Team Airduka go on to best Team Tusker Malt by a fraction to book their spot in the final. This game saw goals from Natasha Tisminieszky (Handicap 0.5) and Kevin Kaniu (Handicap 0.5) for Team Tusker Malt. Team Airduka had goals from Moses Wainaga and Omwakwe Arungah as well as a converted penalty that made the difference and sent them into the final.
In Game 4, Team Radio Africa and Team Classic FM went head to head for a spot in the final. The high scoring game was action-packed from start to finish, ending in victory for Team Radio Africa, who won 6-4. Vishal Somaia (Handicap 2) scored a hat-trick for Team Radio Africa, and Ed Burbidge (Handicap 0), Rowena Stitchbury (Handicap 0) and Magda Jurkowiecka (Handicap -0.5) rounding off the scoring for the winners. Team Classic FM had another hat-trick from Raphael Nzomo (Handicap 2.5) and Phylippa Gulden (Handicap 0.5) on the board.
The finals were decided by a penalty shootout between the highest scoring team, Team Radio Africa, and the team with the most wins, Team Airduka. The win went to Team Radio Africa, with Vishal Somaia’s emphatic score from 30 yards deciding the recipients of Maria Bencivenga Memorial Trophy. Rrowena Stitchbury and Magda Jurkowiecka were also on target for Radio Africa. Team Airduka saw Moses Wainaga and Omwakwe Arunga put points on the board from 30 yards as well. The Polo action will continue next weekend with the Soldiers’ Salute on Saturday, January 22 at the Nairobi Polo Club, presented by Tusker Malt Lager.