Jharkhand to take on Railways in final

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Team work: Lorencia Kerketta of Jharkhand jumps to make way for the goal attempt by Shanti Kajur.
Team work: Lorencia Kerketta of Jharkhand jumps to make way for the goal attempt by Shanti Kajur.

Principal Correspondent

Mamta’s good show fails to take Haryana through

JALANDHAR: Indian captain Mamta Kharab waged a lone battle, but her experience fell short against a bunch of skilful and gutsy players from Jharkhand, which defeated Haryana 3-1 in the 55th Rakshak women’s National hockey championship here on Friday.

It will take on Railways in the final.

On the field, Mamta was a class apart playing in the front and back, but she lacked support.

Haryana, minus Shahbad players, had done well to reach the semifinals, but the group of youngsters found Jharkhand a tough nut to crack.

There were no two ways but to score early against Jharkhand to be able to put up a fight. Mamta dribbled well and found gaps to send in neat passes, but her captain Pritam Rani Siwach and other forwards messed up the chances.

Jharkhand was no pushover. India player Adeline Kerketta skippered her side well with the Mings, Amrita and Punita, Lakras Sarita, Pinky and Susila and the seasoned Sumrai Tete creating a series of chances early on.

Sarita opened the scoring for Jharkhand in the 10th minute when she hit from the top of the box into the roof.

Jharkhand increased the pace of the match with long passes and earned six penalty corners in the first half, but failed to convert any, probably the only weakness it showed.

Haryana had a chance as long as Jharkhand led 1-0, but Sarita put her team 2-0 up in the 43rd minute and that really killed the interest in the game. Mamta finally got one into the post, converting the eighth penalty corner in the 56th minute.

Amrita Ming added one more in the 60th minute to put Jharkhand firmly into the final.

Railways firmed up its position with a 5-0 beating of Bombay, a second string Railway side comprising players from Western and Central divisions.

On Saturday, Railways will vie for its 22nd National title. Going by the way it has played so far and the quality of players on its side, Jharkhand would find it difficult to stop the Railways juggernaut.

Captain Surinder Kaur opened the scoring and closed it with a fine field effort in the 64th minute to put herself in line for the ‘top scorer of the championship’ award.

Jyoti Sunita Kullu, Jasjeet Kaur and Simmerjit Kaur also scored, all in the second half as Bombay held up Railways.

The results (semifinals): Railways 5 (Surinder Kaur 22nd, 64th, Jyoti Sunita Kullu 37th, Jasjeet Kaur 42nd, Simmerjit Kaur 52nd) beat Bombay 0.

Jharkhand 3 (Sarita Lakra 10th, 43rd, Amrita Ming 60th) beat Haryana 1 (Mamta Kharab 56th).

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