By Gonzalo Etcheverry
Bin Drai won the Dubai Challenge Cup after defeating Habtoor 9-8 at Al Habtoor Polo Resort. The win meant that Saeed Bin Drai's team retained the title claimed in 2016.
Both teams played a thrilling contest in front of a large crowd at the brand new polo club in Dubai.
Bin Drai got off to a strong start, displaying powerful team play and overwhelming Habtoor in the first two chukkers (4-0 and 5-0).
Slowly, Habtoor got into the game, led by the skills of 10-goaler Nico Pieres. Habtoor outscored Bin Drai 3-0 in the third chukka and cut the margin down to two goals (3-5).
Habtoor battled back, but by the end of the fourth chukka Bin Drai were holding on to a narrow 7-6 lead.
Following a hard fought last chukka, Habtoor missed an opportunity to tie the match in the last minute. The bell rang and Bin Drai claimed the 9-8 win to keep the Challenge Cup for a second year in a row.
Score Bin Drai: 4-0, 5-0, 5-3, 7-6, 9-8
Bin Drai: Francisco elizalde 3, Gregorio Gelosi 3, Raúl Laplacette 2, Saeed Bin Drai 1
Habtoor: Nicolás Pieres 4, Tomás Beresford 3, Juan Zubiaurre 1
MVP: Francisco Elizalde
BPP: Capacidad, owned and ridden by Nicolás Pieres
Amateur Top Scorer: Faris Al Yabhouni
The Subsidiary Cup went to Zedan, who took a 11-9.5 win over Abu Dhabi.
Score Zedan: 2-0.5, 5-2.5, 8-4.5, 11-7.5, 11-9.5
Zedan: Pablo MacDonough 7, Santiago Gómez Romero 2, Jerónimo del Carril 1, Tariq Al Habtoor 1
Abu Dhabi: Joaquin Pittaluga 4, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario 2, Faris Al Yabhouni 2, Kian Hall 1
Match photos, by Gonzalo EtcheverryAround the field, By Ana Clara CozziSocials, by Ana Clara CozziAwards Presentation, by Ana Clara Cozzi and Gonzalo Etcheverry