Host Thiruvananthapuram defeated Kollam by a solitary goal to finish third in the 48th State senior inter-district football tournament at the SMRC Panchayat Stadium on Monday. Martin John scored the match-winner in a goalmouth melee in the 58th minute.
It was tale of missed chances for Thiruvananthapuram, which should have won by a bigger margin had it converted a small percentage of the chances it got in the match.
With its key striker Kannan indisposed, Kollam did not have the wherewithal to test the rival defence. Apart from a few speculative shots, there were few moments of discomfort for the host.
Thiruvananthapuram suffered from poor finishing as both Mithun and Martin messed up chances created by the midfielders. The Kollam defence was consistent and goal-keeper Amal once again gave a good account of himself under the bar. Lack of coordination among the host players was all too apparent in the second half as the moves fizzled out without any impact at the rival post.
But a long ball into the Kollam box from the middle induced a rare mistake from the defence and goal-keeper Amal was foxed by the Thiruvananthapuram strikers. As a result, Martin sneaked in and scored the all-important goal.
However, Thiruvananthapuram failed to consolidate despite enjoying the better of exchanges. Kollam made a few half-hearted attempts in the second half to find the equaliser, but to no avail.
The result: Thiruvananthapuram 1 (Martin John 58) bt Kollam 0.
BPCL KR gets lead
Shanib and Asok Menon, with three wickets each, and Munsheer, with a half-century, sparkled as host BPCL Kochi Refinery gained the first innings points against V-Guard Swantons CC in its drawn two-dayer in the Ernakulam District A-Division Cricket League at Ambalamugal.
Swantons' former Ranji stars Sebastian Antony (72 n.o.) and C.M. Deepak (50 n.o.) also impressed in the match.
The scores: V-Guard Swantons 130 in 55 overs (Sebastian Antony 32, Shanib three for 32, Asok Menon three for 32) & 184 for 3 in 49 overs (Sebastian Antony 72 n.o., C.M. Deepak 50 n.o.) drew with BPCL Kochi Refinery ‘A' 218 in 58 overs (Munsheer 58, Asok Menon 47, Vinu Vijayan 37). (BPCL KR 3 pts, Swantons 1).