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Arbiu slots six in Jharkhand's win

By Our Sports Reporter

JABALPUR, NOV. 14. Striker Arbiu Kumar slammed four goals in a row, and six in total, as Jharkhand, the breeding ground of Indian hockey, vanquished Andaman and Nicobar Islands 23-0, in the 33rd Junior National hockey championship, that began a day late and that too on sub-standard ground conditions here on Sunday.

In another match, K.M. Chengappa scored two as Karnataka posted a 3-0 win over an athletic Manipur.

The organisers managed to complete 16 league matches on a bright sunny day, but confusion reigned as the championship started with a deficit of 16 matches, which were scheduled to be held on Saturday. The entire first day's play was washed out at the four stadiums here as unexpected thundershowers lashed the city for the past three days.

Only three venues — Wright Town Stadium, Science College ground and Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) ground — could be put to use on Sunday as the main stadium, Police Stadium was still damp and unplayable.

Confusion galore

Though the organisers were yet to decide on how to erase the backlog, there was likelihood of the championship final being pushed to Sunday instead of a Saturday close. Worse still, many teams complained of lack of communication as regards to schedule of matches. It was decided to follow the original schedule for Sunday, leaving the Saturday matches for a later date, but a few teams failed to report.

This forced the Tournament Director to have a match between the teams present at the ground, which otherwise would have been played towards the end of the league. The Organising Secretary, however, was oblivious, of all this. That the match-sheets of the matches held at the MPSEB ground were not provided was another matter.

Coming back to the action on the field, Jharkhand and Andaman and Nicobar opened the championship at the Wright Town Stadium and soon it was obvious that the islanders were at sea in the pool `C' league match.

Topno, Hora net five

Devinder Ekka opened the account in the first minute before Arbiu virtually took over the proceedings. After scoring in the second minute, he slotted in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh goals as Jharkhand pounded goals one after other.

Shashi Topno (12th, 40th, 45th, 47th, 48th) and Somra Hora (31st, 37th, 46th, 51st, 52nd) scored five goals each while Ekka had two more to his credit.

In the same pool, Chengappa collected a cross from the left and banged in a grounder from close range to put Karnataka ahead. Despite the dusty and uneven surface offering little help, Chengappa grabbed the opportunities nicely.

For Chengappa, the trainee of SAI, Bangalore, the natural grass surface was too difficult to adjust. "I am not used to such rough surface, but I am ready to take on the challenge,'' said Chengappa, who struck the second goal in the 51st minute. Nilesh (59th) was the other scorer for Karnataka.

The results:

Pool A: Orissa bt Bhopal 6-1; Chandigarh bt Maharashtra 3-1. Pool B: Himachal Pradesh bt Bihar 1-0; Kerala w/o Assam. Pool C: Jharkhand bt Andaman and Nicobar Islands 23-0; Karnataka bt Manipur 3-0. Pool D: Punjab bt Uttaranchal 7-0; Air India bt Andhra Pradesh 5-0.

Pool E: Mumbai bt Delhi 1-0; Patiala bt Rajasthan 4-3. Pool F: Jammu and Kashmir bt Madhya Bharat 3-0; Mizoram bt Vidarbha 2-1. Pool G: SAIL bt Hyderabad 3-0; Tripura drew with Goa 1-1. Pool H: Madhya Pradesh bt Haryana 2-0; Bengal bt Pondicherry 1-0.

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