RSPB crowned cham­pi­ons with shock win over hold­ers Pun­jab

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —PTI

Gwalior: Rail­way Sports Pro­mo­tion Board (RSPB) dished out a scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mance to stun de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Pun­jab 3-2 and lift the ninth se­nior na­tional men’s hockey cham­pi­onship crown here on Sun­day.

Harsahib Singh (35th, 45th min­utes) scored a brace while Dil­preet Singh (57th) struck late for the win­ners. Pun­jab’s goals came from the sticks of Rupin­der Pal Singh (23rd) and Ra­madeep Singh (60th).

Both the teams ral­lied cau­tiously in the first quar­ter as they kept their de­fence tight and didn’t al­low space in their strik­ing cir­cles.

With no po­ten­tial cir­cle pen­e­tra­tions made, the first quar­ter ended in a stale­mate but it was the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons who made the first break­through in the 23rd minute.

It was Rupin­der who gave Pun­jab the lead with a per­fect dragflick.

Only min­utes be­fore that, striker Ra­man­deep had come close to scor­ing what would have been a rol­lick­ing goal but he missed by inches.

The lead, how­ever, did not de­ter RSPB as they made their in­ten­tions clear with re­peated at­tacks.

The third quar­ter be­longed to Harsahib, who scored two cru­cial field goals in the 35th and 43rd minute to re­verse the score­line in RSPB’S favour.

Dil­preet then in­creased RSPB’S lead to 3-1 by scor­ing an im­por­tant goal in the 57th.

Af­ter sev­eral at­tempts through­out the match, Ra­man­deep fi­nally con­verted a shot on goal just at the stroke of fi­nal hooter but it was not enough to snatch vic­tory from RSPB.

Mean­while, Petroleum Sports Pro­mo­tion Board (PSPB) beat Pun­jab & Sind Bank 4-1 to clinch the bronze. Tal­winder Singh (8th), Devin­der Walmiki (13th), Har­man­preet Singh (49th) and Man­deep Singh (57th) scored for the win­ners.

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