Hockey

UP triumphs in style

WINNERS: Jubilant Uttar Pradesh team which won the the junior National (under-20) hockey championship in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

WINNERS: Jubilant Uttar Pradesh team which won the the junior National (under-20) hockey championship in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: G. RAMAKRISHNA

Uttar Pradesh recorded an emphatic 5-0 win over Mumbai in the final to clinch the inaugural edition of the junior National hockey championship (under-20) at Gachibowli Complex here on Wednesday.

It was Mumbai which dominated most of the first-half and could have scored at least three goals very early for such was the enterprise shown by Ganendrajit Ningombham, Anup Valmiki and Upendra Pillay upfront. But, to their dismay, Manpreet Singh near the ‘D' was not equal to the task of converting several goal-bound moves by the trio. And, even as the Mumbai forward-line faltered near the goalmouth repeatedly, it was Uttar Pradesh which shot into the lead in the 31st minute when Sunil Yadav converted a penalty-corner.

Gaining momentum

Gaining momentum the UP outfit soon dominated the second session earning four penalty-corners in quick succession.

In the 42nd minute Sunil Yadav scored his second goal, converting another penalty-corner.

Buoyed by this early success on resumption, UP sustained the pressure with a series of counter-attacks led by Abhimanyu Balmiki, captain Lalit Upadhyay and Imran Khan. UP made it 3-0 with Deepak Yadav showing fine sense of opportunism, capitalising on the rebound from the goalkeeper's feeble attempt to block a hit from Raju Pal in the 55nd minute. Soon, Raju Pal and Abhimanyiu Balmiki scored one goal apiece to complete the tally.

Earlier, Punjab defeated Karnataka 7-3 to settle for third place.

Imran Khan of UP was named ‘player of the final'.

V. Dinesh Reddy, DGP and president of Hyderabad Hockey Association, and Ashok Mathur, IHF secretary-general, gave away the prizes.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 4:06:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/up-triumphs-in-style/article2872092.ece

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