The 5th King's Cup Elephant Polo came to a dramatic close yesterday as the Chivas Regal Scotland team clinched the title from Mullis Capital during a sudden-death play-off. Both teams fought hard in the first half, Mullis taking advantage of a 2-goal lead from handicap, soon extending the score to 4-1 with two goals from Khun Tat, playing for the first time with a new carbon fibre polo stick.
From here the game erupted into an exchange of howitzer hits from end to end as both teams executed the most outrageous long-distance shots. However the Chivas Team especially just could not convert.
Angad Kalaan changed tack and switched to his dribbling game, taking the ball on a 60-metre drive to pull back a goal and make the score 4-3 to Mullis Capital. In a barnstorming finish to the first chukka, Kalaan took the ball again from half way and with just two seconds left on the clock, chipped the ball cheekily over the defensive elephant of Ken Macmillan to score the most stylish goal of the tournament.
The second half started with a concerted three minute attack by Mullis Capital, but Chivas Regal cleared their lines to release the newly-introduced Duke of Argyll who tempted Mullis into a foul by placing two elephants in their defensive D area.
Kalaan failed to convert the free hit, but Chivas piled on the pressure and in a fantastic piece of team play, the Duke of Argyll swept towards the empty opposition goal mouth to convert a backhand from Kalaan who had drawn the defence wide. Chivas missed several opportunities in front of goal and were made to pay when Khun Dat squeezed an equaliser to force extra time.
Momentum seemed to be with Chivas Regal Scotland as extra time started. After two and a half minutes, they had the ball an inch from the Mullis line. In a desperate race, Kalaan kept the coolest head and popped it over the line for one of the most dramatic wins in King's Cup history.
Nation 12 September 2005 www.nationmultimedia.com
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