THRISSUR: Bijesh Ben produced a hat-trick in an eight-minute second half spell as Central Excise, Kochi, thrashed Sesa (Kollam) 6-1 and marched to the quarterfinals of the 34th Kerala State inter-club football championship at the Corporation Stadium here on Wednesday night.

After M.K. Sunil (11th minute), C.C. Hansen (16th) and Sanju Jacob (43rd) gave Central Excise a 3-1 lead, Bijesh made the next session his own by scoring in the 63rd, 66th and 70th minutes. N.P. Premkumar had scored for the Kollam team in the 25th minute.

Sesa was one man short in the second session after Harikumar was given the marching orders in the 39th minute.

Earlier, Thrissur’s Sri Vyasa College defeated Palakkad’s PS FC 2-0 and entered the pre-quarterfinals. The goals came through in the opening section, through K.M.Prasad (19th minute) and Pinto Franko (25th).

MG College triumphs

MG College defeated University College by 67 runs and won the title in the Kerala University inter-zone inter-collegiate cricket tournament at the Ashramam maidan at Kollam on Wednesday.

The scores: MG College 178 in 24.2 overs (Jijin 77, Deepan 48, Shaheen four for 23) bt University College 111 in 19.5 overs (Mohd. Shanu 33, Nithin 30).

Bonanza for athletes

The Government has substantially hiked the prize-money given to Kerala athletes winning the gold, silver and bronze medals in the National schools athletics meet.

Announcing this at his usual press conference at Thiruvananthapuram after the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan said the new prize-money structure would be Rs.25,000, Rs.20,000 and Rs.15,000 respectively. The earlier prize-money was Rs.5,000, Rs.4,000 and Rs.3,000.

The athletes who won medals and helped the State to retain the overall title for a record 13th time at the recent National meet in Amritsar would be eligible for the enhanced prize-money.

The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had also recorded the Amritsar performance of the Kerala team and approved a resolution to congratulate the team-members for their excellent performance.

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