Debutant Kalinga Lancers registered its most emphatic win of the Hero Hockey India League, downing neighbour Ranchi Rhinos 4-1 at the Kalinga stadium here on Friday.
Argentine Gonzalo Peillat scored twice while Aron Zalewski and Devinder Walmiki found the target once each to complete the most successful outing for the side placed fifth among six teams. Rhinos got its only goal through Pradhan Somanna.
Lancers made one of the best starts, working up a 3-0 lead in the first-half, more specifically in the second quarter. Lancers, led by the solid combination of Australians Russel Ford, Glenn Simpson and Zalewski, enjoyed greater ball possession and converted the advantage into a goal in the 23rd minute when Zalewski moved up to finish a fine field goal.
Walmiki doubled the lead in the 27th following the host’s first penalty corner. Rhinos’ goalkeeper Shushant Tirkey saved a drag-flick off Lancers defender Peillat but Walmiki quickly availed of the rebound to enhance the lead. Peillat made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute after getting his flick right off Lancers’ fourth penalty corner.Wresting the initiative
Both Rhinos and Lancers, who lost their respective matches in the previous round, looked desperate for a win but the latter wrested the initiative with some attacking moves. Lancers, which was also looking to avenge the 3-2 loss it suffered away to Rhinos, was highly motivated and preserved the healthy margin till the end.
Rhinos got one back in the third quarter (44th minute) when Somanna scored a fine field goal as the visitors tried to get back into the match. The persistent Rhinos earned five penalty corners in the final quarter but failed to score even as man-of-the-match Peillat mounted a solo counter-attack and slotted home a fine field goal to complete the scoring in the 69th minute.
The result: Kalinga Lancers 4 (Aron Zalewski 23, Devinder Walmiki 27, Gonzalo Peillat 33, 69) bt Ranchi Rhinos 1 (Pradhan Somanna 44).