It was another day of dull, one-sided matches in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Saturday.
Even the filament of excitement that Indian Bank promised to create after recovering from a 0-2 deficit to restore parity at 2-2 against BPCL vanished into thin air in the second half.
BPCL secured its second successive victory in Pool B taking its aggregate to six points.
After a smart start scoring two goals in less than five minutes, BPCL, for no palpable reasons, lapsed into a mood of complacency. And, needless to add, it paid a heavy price.
Capitalising on the lethargy in the defending zone, Indian Bank launched a series of raids led by the irrepressible Raja. Supported well by Heartlin James and J. Gowtham, Indian Bank applied sufficient pressure to lay the BPCL defenders low. A thundering finish by Raja signalled the mood of Indian Bank.
Within a few minutes, Gnanavel completed a penalty corner sequence with a clever lob into the net. Just when one expected an absorbing tussle came the lead for BPCL from Jarnail Singh.
In the second half, BPCL wrested the control of the game and enlarged the margin to emerge victorious at 7-3. The only consolation for IB was the goal — his second in the match by V. Raja — one minute before the whistle.
Under pressure to win the remaining matches to side step IOC and IOB in Pool A, Army XI, former champion, had to pump in as many goals as feasible against an opposition like CAG. Eventually it won 10-1.
After the loss against IOC in the opening encounter, Army XI did not want to leave anything to chance.
Pushing the weak defenders to the wall, Army XI, prompted well from the midfield by Ignace Tirkey, carried too many guns for the opposition.
Another good display by SAIL failed to fetch rewards as the team went down to the more seasoned Punjab National Bank 1-3 in Pool B.
There was a fizz in the workouts by the SAIL frontline where the hard-working Rajin Kandulna was prominent.
But PNB was more methodical and managed to carry the day.
Kandulna levelled the scores close on half-time at 1-1. But for all the dominance of SAIL, it was PNB that coasted to victory.
Pool A: Army XI 10 (Euazer Lakra 2, Binoy Bhengra, Ignace Tirkey 2, Mukesh Lakra, Arun Kumar, Chaman Aind 2, Siraju) bt CAG 1 ( S.S. Bundela).
Pool B: PNB 3 (Hardeep Singh, Ajitesh, Arjun) bt SAIL 1 (Rajin Kandulna); BPCL 7 (Tushar Khandekar, Pundalik Bellary, Jarnail Singh, Amar Ayyamma, Hari Prasad 2, Gurpreet Singh) bt Indian Bank 3 (V. Raja 2, Gnanavel).