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By Benjie Davis Ham Polo Club held the finals day of their highest handicapped tournament, the Dubai Trophy 12 goal, on Saturday. As always the fixture attracted a great crowd and combined with the perfect weather it was one of the best days at Ham this summer. Through to the final were Kassem Shafi’s Shalimar and Andras Tombor’s Bardon Polo Team. Shalimar have been regulars in this tournament for many years and this was their fourth Dubai final. Bardon were winners of last years Roehampton and featured Martin Valent, the Argentine international player. Hissam Ali Haider and Vieri Antinori got out of the starting blocks brilliantly, putting two early goals away. The two players are familiar with each other, playing together regularly on the 12 goal circuit, and the experience showed. Bardon’s Facundo Castagnola kept up the pressure well but the first chukka was won firmly by Shalimar. The second chukka was the same story, Ali Haider was scoring goals from 100 yards and Shalimar were taking a strong lead. Martin Valent was hitting some strong backhands and Bardon managed to put two more goals on the board but by half time shalimar held a three goal advantage. Bardon came back onto the field for the second half and for the first four minutes looked like they were going to turn the match around. With Shalimar on the back foot Castagnola found himself running unmarked to goal three times but floundered at the last second each time. Ali Haider collected himself and answered with another score keeping his team ahead. Chino Lavia put in some great play in the final chukka stealing the ball from Antinori at one point and running the field. Despite all of these opportunities Bardon could not capitalize and, as they had throughout the game, were still relying on penalties to keep up with the Shalimar score. Even though one side held the lead throughout the game was exciting as there were a lot of goal opportunities created by some good field play. Bardon did get within two goals of Shalimar in the last few minuets but it was a well deserved win for Kassem Shafi’s team 9 goals to 7. Ricardo, played by Hissam Ali Haider was awarded the BBP sponsored by the Liphook Equine Hospital.