Jaypee Punjab Warriors scripted a 4-2 win over defending champion Ranchi Rhinos and ended its home engagements on a high at the International Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
With the teams even in all departments, the host managed to turn it around in the last quarter in front of the biggest crowd seen here this season, converting two of the three penalty corners it earned. Warriors moved to 35 points and continued to be in the second spot while Rhinos remained fourth.
The regular attacks made it a contest of goalkeepers. While Sushant Tirkey did his best for the Rhinos, Jaap Stockmann came out winner, bringing out a series of saves to once again prove that he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Warriors went ahead at the stroke of the first quarter when an unmarked S.V. Sunil got the ball at the 25-yard line and shot home from the top of the striking circle.
However, it was only in the second quarter that the contest came alive. In the 22nd minute, Rhinos earned the first penalty corner of the match and this was converted by Amit Rohidas to make it 1-1.
Five minutes later, Justin Reid Ross slotted home to make it 2-1 for Rhinos.
After Marc Salles missed a chance to widen the lead for Rhinos in the 32nd minute, Warriors struck immediately on the counter when Somanna rammed into Robert Hammond and conceded a penalty stroke.
Mark Knowles made no mistake and the teams were level 2-2 before Warriors went all out in the final quarter to emerge victorious.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors 4 (S.V. Sunil, Mark Knowles, Sandeep Singh, Kieran Govers) bt Ranchi Rhinos 2 (Amit Rohidas, Justin Reid Ross).