Jackson does the star turn for Rays

Ashley Jackson took his drag-flicking ability to a new high converting two penalty corners to give defending champion Ranchi Rays its second successive win when it downed Delhi Waveriders 2-1 in the Coal India HIL at the Morhabadi Astroturf Stadium here on Tuesday.

Egged on by a raucous holiday crowd, the home side doubled the Republic Day fervour erasing a goal’s deficit to make a spectacular comeback. Rays had beaten Uttar Pradesh Warriors (4-2) in Lucknow in the previous outing to pick up their first win.

Looking to extend their successful ‘away’ run, following two emphatic wins against Jaypee Punjab Warriors and Uttar Pradesh, the Wizards took the lead early in the second quarter.

The host created and missed some early opportunities in both the first and the second quarters when Imran Khan’s goalmouth pass went abegging while captain Jackson pushed his first penalty-corner attempt straight into the DWR goalkeeper Devon Manchester’s path.

Rupinderpal Singh found the net off a mighty flick to give DWR the lead much against the run of play. The host was attacking in hordes and the visitor went defensive pushing more men around the goal.

The Rays enjoyed the initial leverage and tried to find a field goal and make the most of the new regulation that doubles the goal count if it comes off the normal process. Rupinderpal’s fine effort changed the equation all of a sudden forcing the home side to scamper into a damage control situation.

Jackson, the host’s game-maker, got the Rays back in the game by the end of the second quarter. He helped it to successive penalty-corners of which he converted one to restore parity in the 29th minute.

Encouraged by the late equaliser, the Rays started on a strong note after the change of ends and found the winner in the very first minute of the third quarter. Jackson produced a variation to his previous successful effort and put the ball into the net beating the onrushing DWR defenders.

The host held on to the slender lead for the remainder of the action and thwarted at least two good efforts from DWR. The first one came off Rupinderpal whose drag-flick in the 33rd minute almost went home after hitting the Rays’ goalkeeper Lovell Tyler but for an alert Barry Middleton clearing it off the line.

The win helped Ranchi Rays join Kalinga Lancers, Punjab Warriors and DWR tied at 11 points each in the current league standings.

The result:

Ranchi Rays 2 (Ashley Jackson 29, 31) bt Delhi Waveriders 1 (Rupinderpal Singh 27).

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:53:37 AM |

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