Indian Oil retained the title of the Sahara 117th all-India Beighton Cup hockey tournament at the SAI, Eastern Centre, on Sunday with a 5-2 demolition of Punjab National Bank in a one-sided final.
This was Indian Oil’s second consecutive triumph and its third crown in five appearances in the final.
Indian Oil proved far too superior to the bankmen in a game that lacked speed. The teams made too many errors that broke the rhythm and flow of the game.
Indian Oil players showed better understanding and positional sense to control the proceedings for most part of the match.
Indian Oil shot ahead through a penalty corner conversion by Gurjinder Singh in the 10th minute. After a lot of midfield jousts, Vikas Sharma struck for the Oilmen two minutes later with a reverse hit that flew into the net.
After change of sides, PNB showed a lot of urgency and managed to reduce the margin within two minutes of resumption through a field goal from Jalwinder Singh, who made the most of a defensive lapse.
The play shifted to the other half with Indian Oil pressing hard for more goals.
Captain Deepak Thakur, Prabjoth Singh and Roshan Minz made life very difficult for the PNB defenders. The shaky defence fell twice as Minz’s quick-silver runs down the right fetched him goals in the 45th and 57th minutes — the second a result of a poor goalkeeping.
Thakur missed a couple of sitters but made amends in the 67th by pushing home a waist high ball. Two minutes later, PNB’s Lakhwinder Singh scored off a penalty corner but that did not change the complexion of the game. Minz was declared the best player of the final and Air India was awarded the Fair Play Trophy.
The results: Indian Oil 5 (Gurjinder Singh, Vikas Sharma, Roshan Minz-2, Deepak Thakur) bt PNB 2 (Jalwinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh).