Johannesburg- It was a day of African fashion, champagne and riveting polo at the Cell C Inanda Africa Cup which took place on Youth Day at the Inanda Club in Sandton.
The tournament brought a pivotal moment for Titan Law Zimbabwe as they won the clash for the 2019 championship title, clinching the most coveted polo trophy. Distinctive in their team colours, flaunting some thrilling action and extreme skills of the highly esteemed team resulted in a final score of 6-3 over Kego Mining South Africa.
Match commentator, Matt Poll, kept attendees on the edge of their seats throughout the grand finale match. The score was 0-0 at the end of the first chukka. Gareth Meikle scored his first penalty shot, putting Titan Law Zimbabwe in the lead. Defensive play by female polo player, Lean Spark (0) never trailed, warranting Kego Mining a goal in the second chukka. Titan Law Zimbabwe cut the margin to 1- 5 at halftime. Meikle scored another penalty in the final chukka and his team maintained a comfortable advantage for the rest of the match, leading to their glorious victory of 6-3.
“Polo is a sport with global appeal and one that is very aspirational. The teams that participated in this nail-biting knock-out tournament, dedicated to showcasing their highest quality polo talent and skills, all deserve a huge congratulations,” said Meikle.
The plate final was between Blue Label Telecoms and Ghana Polista’s. The match was tense with a score of 3-3 in the third chukka. Team mates Crispin Cheadle (3) and Craig James (3) changed their defense tactics, opening the field for Zac Levy (-1), the youngest player in the tournament, to score consecutive goals. The thirteen-year-old Zac managed to score despite being marked by a player 10 years his senior and 2 handicaps higher.
Blue Label Telecoms took the game with a 6-3 win at the end of the final chukka.
Penny Lebyane dressed to the nines. Picture: Supplied
“Participating in the Cup has been wonderful, we look forward to coming back again next year, to take the Cup Title,” said Harold Awuah- Darko Jnr who has played in several editions of the annual Cup and previously lifted the winner’s trophy.
The title for the Most Valued Player (MVP) was awarded to Meikle. Titan Law also chalked up another win with David Evans’ Rio, which was ridden by Meikle..
Further polo highlights celebrated the magnetic ‘horse vs machine’ race with a polo pony’s speed put to the test in what the automaker called an “honourable contest”. The best polo pony of the day pitted against the luxurious German masterpiece, the BMW Z4.
The Inanda Club grounds and refined Polo Room were adorned with a lifestyle exposé exhibiting car displays by the official vehicle partner, BMW Sandton with models 850i and the 750il from their latest range.
The polo affair themed #ArtAndAfricanSpirit drew fashion lovers to the arts lifestyle installation. Designs from The African Style Story, Black Coffee, Clive Rundle, De Mil, Ephymol, Floyd Avenue, Helen Asrat, House of Olé, Klipa, Ledikana, MusoMaxwell, Roman Handt, Sies! Isabelle, Sindiso Khumalo, Sober, Thula Sindi and XV by Ntando were on display.
Celebrities and polo go hand in hand and a few were spotted on the day including actress Nthati Moshesh, media personality Penny Lebyane, and actress Michelle Mosalakae. TV actor and presenter Lunga Shabalala, played host for the day.
“The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup is a renowned Polo event at Inanda Club. Guests were treated to a day of art and African spirit as they all stepped out in traditional polo style and had the opportunity to create unforgettable moments. And this is what we look forward to each year,” said Paul Oosthuizen, Inanda Club General Manager.