Defending champion Karnataka boys recorded their third consecutive win and inched closer to the title in the South Zone sub-junior hockey championships at the Central Stadium on Friday.

Karnataka subdued a fighting Andhra Pradesh 2-1 to remain unbeaten in the tournament. After a goalless first half, Prithviraj put Karnataka ahead in the 35th minute. Nachaiah increased the lead for the winner in the 49th minute, while Naresh reduced the margin for Andhra Pradesh in the 52nd minute.

Heavy rain forced the Tamil Nadu-Kerala match in the boys’ section to be called off after 25 minutes. Tamil Nadu was leading 3-0 when the match was stopped. The remaining part of the match will be played on Saturday morning.

In the girls’ section, Tamil Nadu defeated Kerala 3-0 to post its second win in the tournament. The host managed to keep the scoreline goalless at half-time. But last year’s runner-up struck three goals in the space of nine minutes to clinch the contest. Ajay Swetha sounded the boards in the 33rd minute to put TN ahead. Kruthika increased the lead three minutes later before Shobika Raghavavi completed the tally in the 39th minute.

Andhra Pradesh whipped Puducherry 15-0 for its first win in the tournament.

The results:

Boys: Karnataka 2 (Prithviraj 35, Nachaiah 49) bt Andhra Pradesh 52); Tamil Nadu 3 vs Kerala 0 (match called off after 25 minutes).

Girls: Tamil Nadu 3 (Ajay Swetha 33, Kruthika 36, Shobika Raghavavi 39) bt Kerala 0; Andhra Pradesh bt Puducherry 15-0.

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