Chennai: Loyola claimed the Reverend Father Francis memorial hockey title after prevailing 2-1 over St. Joseph's (Bangalore) in the final here on Monday.
The patchy grass covering resulted in the ball rearing up nastily on a few occasions while it almost consistently robbed passes of a lot of pace. Even as St. Joseph's was struggling to come to terms with the nature of the playing surface,
Loyola showed how it was done as it executed a practice-ground routine to perfection in the eleventh minute.
A penalty corner was worked around until Durand Anthony found an angle that was covered neither by the defence nor the goal-keeper and thrashed the ball in.
The score remained one-nil at half-time and ten minutes into the second half, Loyola extended its lead. Nanda ran down a loose ball deep inside St. Joseph's half and the goal-keeper in trying to block the cross found himself stranded, leaving Fazil with a tap-in.
St. Joseph's control inside Loyola's ‘D' faltered time and again but S.K. Uthappa soon made amends as he pumped a goal in, leaving the 'keeper almost no time to react, let alone pull off a save.
With 18 minutes still left in the match, St. Joseph's failed to make a fist of it, often conceding possession or misplacing passes within their own half. In fact, the last chance of the match fell to Loyola, with Nanda's fierce drive going just wide.
D.B. Jain claimed third spot after winning 3-0 against Nandha College (Erode) in the earlier match.
Raghuvaran (goal-keeper, Loyola), Fazil (striker, Loyola) and Uthappa (forward, St. Joseph's) were presented with honours for their work through the tournament. Reverend Father Victor gave away the prizes.
The results (final): Loyola 2 (Durand Antony, Fazil) bt St. Joseph's Bangalore 1 (S.K. Uthappa).
Third place play-off: D.B. Jain 3 (B. Suresh 2, V. Shanmugam) bt Nandha 0 .