The first-ever flood-lit match at the refurbished Shivaji Stadium saw the girls from Kiddy’s Corner School, Gwalior, outshine their counterparts from Government Senior Secondary School, Shahabad (Haryana) 4-0 in the 19th Nehru girls’ hockey final here on Thursday.

The one-sided encounter not only helped Kiddy’s Corner avenge the defeat suffered in the final last year but also foiled the attempt of the Shahabad team to win the title for the third year in succession.

The winning team received Rs. 96,000 apart from Rs. 8,000 for its coach. The runner-up school collected Rs. 64,000 besides Rs. 5,000 for its coach.

Earlier, Government Model School, Sector 18, Chandigarh took the third spot by beating Directorate General, NCC, 7-0.

The final, dominated by Gwalior, was lopsided. Shahabad’s coach Amarjit said his side suffered due to the absence of its main players who were participating in the on-going senior National championship in Bhopal or the National sub-junior championship at Patna.

Over-aged players

“I have proof to show that several girls from Gwalior are over-aged (above the stipulated age of 17) but the organisers have allowed them to play. The average age of my girls’ team is 13-14 years only. That’s why it was such a no-contest,” said a miffed Amarjit, whose outburst during the second half led to a brief stoppage.

The Gwalior girls seized the advantage in the second minute when, off a counter-attack, an unmarked Shikha Sharma slammed the ball into the roof of the net to set the tone.

After missing a fair number of chances, Gwalior scored again in the second half. This time, it was sustained pressure that produced a goal, with Preeti Dubey’s goalward shot finding the mark after kissing the stick of Shahabad’s defender Priyanka in the 44th minute.

All this while, Shahabad’s goalkeeper Priyanka came up with several brave attempts to keep Gwalior’s tally down.

Although Gwalior wasted five penalty corners to Shahabad’s two, it managed to score twice in the space of four minutes. In the 62 minute, Priyanka Wankhede’s brilliant pass was guided into the goal by an alert Nusrat Khatoon. Soon thereafter, Priyanka Chandrawat was on target to complete Gwalior’s domination.

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