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BSF douses IOC's hopes

By Our Sports Reporter

The BSF team that won the Beighton Cup hockey tournament in Kolkata on Wednesday.

KOLKATA APRIL 2. Border Security Force (BSF), Jalandhar, lifted the Beighton Cup for the fifth time, beating the tournament sponsor Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) 3-0 in the 108th edition at the Mohun Bagan ground here on Wednesday.

IOC, planning to win the crown in its maiden attempt, had the exuberance but not the application necessary to bother BSF, which found its cautious approach paying dividends. Even as IOC was struggling to put the finishing touches to innumerable moves, BSF found the target on three occasions.

First, Christopher Ekka displayed his uncanny knack of converting penalty corners and scored off the first opportunity in the 23rd minute.

Sushil Kujur, another tribal recruit from Orissa, enhanced the lead after the interval, sounding the boards in the 59th minute. Fittingly, BSF captain Harbhajan Singh completed the tally in the 63rd minute.

The penalty corners each team earned in the match will reflect the nature of the contest. IOC, which enjoyed a greater share of the exchanges, earned six corners.

On the other hand, the defensive BSF side managed just two but scored off the very first.

IOC, boasting the star combination of Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur and Lakhwinder Singh, was quite incisive in the midfield but lost direction once the ball entered the rival goal area. The Delhi team could have been a goal up in the very first minute but Thakur's shot, following the team's first penalty corner, rebounded off the framework.

Keeping up the attack, IOC earned three more penalty corners and a couple of field opportunities but could convert none of them as BSF custodian K.M. Subbiah proved a tough nut to crack. BSF led 1-0 after the first session.

The second session saw IOC attack with renewed vigour. The team earned two more corners within the first 15 minutes but on both occasions the ball was sent wide. Meanwhile, BSF started attacking with more purpose and this proved successful as the IOC goal was breached for the second time.

In the 59th minute, Harbhajan went forward unchallenged from the left flank before taking a crack at the goal. Sushil Kujur, lurking near the goalmouth, deflected the ball to beat IOC custodian Devesh Kumar all ends up. The BSF skipper scored the last goal himself as a Devinder Kumar provision reached him in the 63rd minute.

IOC forward Prabhjot Singh, who displayed his skill right through the match, was declared man-of-the-final and received Rs. 10,000. BSF bagged the winner's purse of Rs. 1,25,000 while IOC went home with Rs. 75,000.

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