Sports Reporter

Bargur: SAI-Kerala State Electricity Board (Thiruvananthapuram) battled hard from the brink of defeat to fashion a 23-25, 30-32, 25-11, 25-19, 17-15 win over Western Railway (Mumbai) for the women’s title in the 12th National league volleyball championship at the GGHSS courts here on Sunday night.

It was expected to be a virtual cakewalk for fancied KSEB at the start. But Western Railway took the crowd by surprise by clinching the first two sets. It was not easy though. The Railway women were made to sweat for every point.

Just when the cup of joy seemed to be slipping from KSEB’s hands, the Kerala women, particularly Gisha Thomas, Aswani S. Kumar and Vincy George, raised their tempo and were on a roll. The Railway women tried all combinations but KSEB could not be stopped.

After losing the third, Western Railway was unable to wake up from its lethargy. KSEB capitalised on the opportunity to sweep the fourth to level set scores at two-all.

Brilliant rally

In the decider, KSEB jumped to an 8-1 lead but Western Railway was not willing to throw in the towel. It rallied brilliantly to level scores, and as the game wore on even marched to a 14-12 lead. The pressure was beginning to tell on both teams. At this juncture, Western Railway erred and KSEB celebrated.

Later in the day, Southern Railway (Chennai) men struggled a bit before defeating Indian Navy (Kochi) 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 26-24 to wrest the second spot.

The results: Men: S. Rly (Chn) bt Indian Navy (Kochi) 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 26-24.

Women: KSEB (Tvm) bt W. Rly (Mumbai) 23-25, 30-32, 25-12, 25-19, 17-15.

Final standings: Men: 1. IOB (Chn), 2. S. Rly, 3. Indian Navy, 4. BPCL (Kochi), 5. Indian Bank (Chn), 6. KSEB (Tvm).

Women: 1. KSEB (Tvm), 2. W. Rly (Mumbai), 3. C. Rly (Mumbai), 4. E. Rly (Kolkata).

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