The Kelantan Turtles of the east coast were faster than the the Sabah Rhinos of East Malaysia, running away with a 5-1 win in a test match between the Sabah Polo Association and the Kelantan Polo Riding Club at the Royal Sabah Turf Club on Saturday 14th July.
Gunong Kinabalu came out to watch the match, and it was a stunning backdrop on what was a super afternoon of polo.
The two teams took to the field, which was in very good shape for the match. After a short warm-up, the match got underway. Sabah pressed hard at the beginning of the chukka, but the game was quickly turned. Octavius Dares Sahan and Alvin Lai pressed hard for the Sabahans but could not contain the speedy Kelantan game when the ball was turned back. The Turtles were first to score, and though Sabah leveled the match, Kelantan were the stronger and faster side.
Sabah were caught flat flooted as Kelantan played a superb counter attacking game. Kelantan led 3-1 at half-time. Sabah never gave up trying but Kelantan managed to extend their lead with two more goals in the final period.
The game was followed by an excellent satay and seafood BBQ. The post game festivities and the entire trip was very well organised in the spirit Sabahan hospitality.
Earlier in the day, Peter Abisheganaden had conducted an RMPA Rules Update for both Sabah and Kelantan. Founding member David Wang (left in the picture) umpired the game with RMPA Executive Secretary and League Coordinator, Peter Abisheganaden.
Many of the old guard turned out for the game, including brothers Datuk Clement (middle of picture) and and Dr Vernon Skinner.
A low goal East League played on a home and away basis was proposed, with Sabah and Kelantan the first clubs to commit to entry. It is hoped that Terengganu Polo Club will join in this league.
Sabah Polo Association
1. Fong Ming San / Abdullah Mohsin Beldram
2. Johnson Or
3. Dares Saham Assad @ Octavius
4. Alvin Lai
Kelantan Polo Riding Club
1. Zamani b. Othman
2. Mohd Izhan b. Ramli
3. Abu Hanafi b. Hussein
4. Khairul Azman b. Yusoff
Thanks to PoloEquestrian.com for the article. Photo credits to Emil Teo.