Big win for Railways, ONGC

Commanding show: Ranjan Aiyappa scored a brace in Railways’ demolition of Bengaluru Hockey Association.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) warmed up for the title defence with an authoritative 6-2 win over Bengaluru HA in a Pool A match of the 91st MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup all-India hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Friday.

Former champion ONGC trounced Hockey Odisha 7-1 in a Pool B contest, augmented by a hat-trick by former International Diwakar Ram.

In the last match of the day Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) edged out BPCL in an evenly contested Pool A tie, through a solitary goal by Santa Singh.

There was fluidity and cohesion in most of Railways’ moves. Ajmer Singh opened the account for Railways with a stirring run from the left. With the defender giving up the chase thinking the ball was out, Ajmer made the most of it with a neat push. Drag flick specialist V.R. Raghunath equalised with a perfect penalty corner that struck the top of the roof. From there on, it was Railways’ show.

Comprising mostly of youngsters with veterans Vikram Kanth, V.S. Vinaya and Raghunath for company, Bengaluru HA forwards appeared clueless in the striking circle.

If the half-time score (2-1 in favour of Railways) was an indication of a close contest, it was way off the mark. Railways toyed with Bengaluru defence, with Ranjan Aiyappa scoring a brace. The area of concern for Railways coach C.R. Kumar, will be the number of penalty corners, seven, that it conceded.

Hockey Odisha went down without a fight to ONGC conceding seven goals.

The results: Pool A: RSPB 6 (Ajmer Singh 4, Raju Paul 32, Ranjan Aiyappa 49, 62, Manpreet Singh Chahal 56, Kunjan Topno 59) bt Bengaluru HA 2 (V.R. Raghunath 18, K.A. Nilesh 68); PSB 1 (Santa Singh 65) bt BPCL 0.

Pool B: ONGC 7 (Diwakar Ram 7, 9, 60, Machaiah 38, Nilam Xess 56 & 70+, Jagwant Singh 69) bt Hockey Odisha 1 (Cyril Lugun 4).

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 4:44:49 AM |

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