Goals from Davinder Kumar and Ramandeep Singh ensured Punjab a 2-1 win over Mumbai in the final of the junior National hockey championships for under-17 boys here at the MHA Mahindra stadium on Wednesday.
Ganendrajit Ranjit had opened the account for the Mumbai early in the first half.
Karnataka finished third, beating Rajasthan 10-1 in the Hardlines Cup.
Punjab skipper Gurjant Singh, who was named the ‘best player of the tournament' and goalkeeper Harmanpreet Singh, named ‘best player of the final', played decisive roles in the title clash. Gurjant kept the forwards busy with sweeping passes and also set up his team's first goal. Harmanpreet, on the other hand, came up with timely saves in the second half to deny Mumbai the equaliser. Mumbai's ability to keep the ball in possession made the Punjab defenders to work hard in the first half. Ganendrajit sounded the boards with a low placement to the right corner off a pass from Rajat Sharma in the sixth minute. Punjab equalised in style when Davinder found the target after some fluent passing involving Gurjant and Gurpreet Singh Sr.
Mumbai custodian Karan Thakur's misjudgement helped Punjab take the lead. He allowed the ball to roll past him thinking that his defender had made the last contact lwhen in fact it was Ramandeep who had done so in an attempt to latch on to a pass. Later, Rajat and Nikhil Poojary got a close look at the Punjab goal but were off target. Former Punjab Police DGP, K.P.S. Gill and Indian Hockey Federation president, R.K. Shetty gave away the prizes.
Individual awards: Best player of the tournament: Gurjant Singh (Punjab); Best player in the final: Harmanpreet Singh (Punjab); Highest goal-scorer: Basavaraj (Karnataka); Promising goalkeeper: Karan Thakur (Mumbai); Promising defender: Anand Rai (Mumbai); Promising midfielder: J. Rakesh (Karnataka); Promising forward: Nikhil Pujary (Mumbai).
Keywords: junior National hockey championships