By Our Sports Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 13 : Linthoi-nganbi Kangjei Lup fought back from two goals down to clinch a 4-3 win against Chingkheihunba Polo Club and lift the title of the 15th Women's State Polo Tournament while X-Polo Club got the better of Nagamapal Youth Polo Club by 6-5 goals in a compelling final contest to earn the title of the 3rd Junior Boys U-16 State Polo Tournament at Mapal Kangjeibung today.
In the women's final staged today, Chingkheihunba Polo club had a positive start and led the first chukker 2-0 past Liingthoinganbi Kangjei Lup thanks to Neelu RK and Th Tanna strikes.
Th Tanna scored another briefly after the first minute of the second chukker to make it 3-0 but L Thadoi pulled one back for Linthoinganbi Kangjei Lup before Kh Deventy quickfired two goals in the 4th and the 5th minute to draw level.
It was anyone's game till halfway but Linthoinganbi Kangjei Lup were seen enjoying the possession in the third chukker. To their delight, captain Kh Habe found the breakthrough which was worth enough to be the winner as Chingkheihunba Polo Club failed to make a comeback despite changes being made till the last chukker.
The junior boy's final match was even more interesting as X-Polo Club had to rally back after narrow lead in the opening chukker before finishing the game 6-5 in the fifth chukker as Nagamapal Youth Polo Club gave a tough fight and draw level till the end of the fourth chukker.
X Polo Club, Wangkhei were leading the first half 1-0 with Herojit Thokchom's strike in the 6th minute but Nagamapal Youth Polo Club made a determined comeback to overturn the lead in the second chukker. Th Santosh drew level for Nagamapal Youth Polo Club when the second chukker was not even a half minute old and added another in the 3rd minute to make it 2-1. Th Nongpoknganba however handed X Polo Club the equaliser in the 4th minute but Nagamapal Youth Polo Club managed to regain the lead again in the 6th minute with Th Rivaldo finding the target.
It was a neck to neck competition in the following chukker as T Dinesh and T Vikash Singh scored a goal each within three minutes to ensure X Polo Club lead 4-3 but Kh Yaikhomba made a fine finish to help Nagamapal Youth PC pull level stay in the hunt.
The fourth chukker also saw both teams showing off their riding skills and creating chances and it was T Vikash who handed X Polo Club 5-4 lead before Kh Yaikhomba rose again to close the gap and forced the game to another chukker.
However it did not take long for X Polo Club to find the winner as T Vikash completed his treble in the opening minute itself and wrapped up the game 6-5.
The valedictory function of the two tournaments was graced by W Ibohal, Director Tourism Department; K Saratchandra Singh, president All Manipur Polo Association and MC Liklainu, Deputy Director Finance, National Health Mission as dignitaries who also feted the winners and runners up teams.
Women's winners, Linthoinganbi Kangjei Lup were feted with a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 15,000 sponsored by Imphal Hospital while runners up team, Chingkheihunba Polo Club got a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 10,000 sponsored by Sumita and Thadoi.
Meanwhile, junior boys' champions, X-Polo Club walked away Rs 10,000 richer and the Nagamapal team had to contend with a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a trophy.
T Vikash who scored the sudden winner in the additional chukker was also encouraged separately with a cash prize of Rs 2,000 for his exceptional feat.
Altogether 6 women's teams and 7 junior boys' teams participated in the tournaments which were organised by All Manipur Polo Association.