KOCHI: Pathanamthitta, virtually the Services second string, defeated defending champion Kollam 42-25 and won its maiden State senior men's handball title at the Newman's College, Thodupuzha, on Monday.

After the first session, Pathanamthitta was ahead 17-14, but the fitter and stronger Services players broke away to a big lead in the next with Bikram Singh and Jithin leading the charge. Bikram was named the best player.

Earlier, Kannur defeated last year's runner-up Thiruvananthapuram 18-12 to finish third.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Handball Association has selected 20 players for the State men's coaching camp in connection with the senior National, which begins in Ludhiana on February 9. The camp will start in Thiruvananthapuram on January 20.

The results (final):

Pathanamthitta 42 (Bikram Singh 11, Jithin Singh 10, Prince 7) bt Kollam 25 (Rajiv 5, Prajish 5).

Third place: Kannur 18 (Sudhish 5, Shiju 5) bt Thiruvananthapuram 12 (Lenin 8).

The probables: Jitender Kumar, Bikram Singh, Bikram Chand, K.D. Pradeep, Rakesh Kumar, Harpreet Singh, Rasveer Singh (all Pta), Renjith, Lenin (Tvm), Sareesh, Manikantan, Balamurali, R. Sajeev (all Klm), Bipin Kurian, Subeesh (Knr), Shiabuddin (Ksgd), Lenin (Tvm). Goalkeepers: Kannan (Pta), Saiju (Klm), T. Sandeep (Knr), Arun (Tvm). - Principal Correspondent

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