Access Bank Fifth Chukker wins third Charity Shield Polo Title
The prestigious Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield’2012 Polo Tournament which took to a blistering start two weeks ago came to a thrilling climax over the weekend with the defending champions, Access Bank Fifth Chukker edging MRS in a tense final to retain their coveted Charity Shield.
Within three days of explosive battles, the four teams with a high-goal showdown narrowed to two finalists with Access Bank team edging the ambitious MRS12-10 to maintain their Charity Shield supremacy for the third year running.
Living up to its competitive tradition, this year’s Charity Shield final was a neck -to-neck confrontation with MRS parading Bashir Dantata (jnr.) Lance Watson, Fredrico Podoski and Brett Watson jumping to 3-0 lead in the opening chukker.
But their lead soon fizzle out after a strong showing by the quartet of Adamu Atta, Ezekiel Martinez, Silvestre Donovan and Musty Fashinro in Access Bank colours, drew level in the second chukker.
The two rivals, who have both won the glittering shield before, gave the highly anticipatory crowd plenty to cheer, as the lead change hands regularly, with MRS looking menacingly close to cooking up a surprise upset.
The decisive fifth chukker put paid to MRS ambition as the defending champions pulled a head with sublime display from Martinez, Fashinro and Donovan who scored the last goal to give Access Bank Fifth Chukker their third Charity Shield title in three years.
With a glittering shield and a whopping $20,000 winners-take –all cash prize in their kitty, Access Bank Fifth Chukker were truly in their best, defeating a record field in an international polo extravaganza that is reputed as the biggest in the continent.
The fiercely fought final was watched by a discerning crowd that included the Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke who represented the Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo as the Special Guest of Honour, and the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Mallam Ramalan Yero.
Others who witnessed the dramatic grand finale include Members of the National Assembly, first class emirs, UNICEF officials and a strong Access bank PLc. delegation led by the General Manager North, Mr. Speedwell Ngwoka and Acting Zonal Head, Kaduna Joseph Ikpaanyam, Relationship Manager, Mukhtar Abdulmutallab, among others.
Campaign for the high stake Charity Shield which is the biggest prize on offer got underway last Thursday with four equally matched high teams parading top professionals from Argentina and South Africa, showcasing their awesome skills.
In the opening game, defending champions, Access Bank Fifth Chukker took off from where they left off last year, defeating the highly ambitious Keffi Ponys 8-6 on their way to winning all their games. Former champions, Lagos MRS who were seeking their second Charity Shield title in five years, outpaced their arch rivals, Kaduna Barbados 9-8 in a fierce opening game to book their final ticket.
Earlier, Kaduna DeeBee Farm had defeated favourites, Lagos Sub Riders to win the coveted Access Bank Cup, while American University of Nigeria Yola over thrown defending champions, Work-to Ride from USA to clinch their first UNICEF Cup title.
Proceeds from the prestigious annual tournament in addition to N5million donation from Access Bank Plc were later presented to UNICEF. The donation was presented at the Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club in Kaduna by Access Bank Group Managing Director/CEO, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede in support of UNICEF campaign against HIV/AIDS pandemic among Nigerian children.
UNICEF Assistant Country Representative, James Mugaju who received the donation, thanked Access Bank Plc for the assistance, pointing out that through the donation, UNICEF would be able to provide care and support service to orphans and vulnerable children in focus areas of Kaduna State.
The cheque presentation which was the major highlight of the closing ceremony following the final game of the event in which Barbedos defeated Keffi Ponys 14-8 to finished overall third place winners.
About Access Bank
Access Bank Plc is a full service commercial Bank operating through a network of 348 branches and service outlets located in major centres across Nigeria, Sub Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1998, the Bank serves its various markets through 5 business segments: Institutional, Commercial, Retail Banking, Transaction Services and Financial Markets.
The Bank has over 800,000 shareholders including several Nigerian and International Institutional Investors and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last ten years ranking amongst Africa’s top 20 banks by total assets and capital in 2011.
As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant.
For more information visit www.accessbankplc.com
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Fafore Olusegun Michael
Team Lead, Media Relations
Phone: +234 80 275 66 220