A 63rd minute goal by Gagan Ajit Singh helped India Seniors beat Development side 1-0 and lift the Independence Cup Hockey in Chennai on Wednesday night.
Gagan scored the winner off a move initiated by Viren Rasquinha just as the final appeared to be heading beyond the regulation time at the flood-lit Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
With Wednesday's match being the last chance to prove their mettle before national selectors chose the team for the World Cup and the SAF Games on Thursday, the match was fought intensely, much to the delight of the crowd.
For Development the likes of Gurvinder Singh, Captain Raja, Adam Sinclar and Sandeep Micheal supported by the midfield made several good moves but were unable to score. The defenders of both the teams also did a neat job.
The Development players did not allow their experienced rivals much freedom to move around though VS Vinaya and Arjun Halappa were seen making advances to feed the frontline comprising Gagan, Tejbir Singh and Shivender Singh.
Raja almost scored in the sixth minute but his shot off a Gurvinder Singh pass could not beat custodian Adrian D'Souza.
For the Seniors, Gagan missed a couple of chances but made amends finally. In a surprise move, Sinclair, who was fielded late in the second half gave a pass to Tejbir towards his right and he in turn fed it to Gagan, who slammed the goal from the top of the circle.
Earlier, India Juniors beat Tamil Nadu 3-1 to finish third. Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala gave away the trophies.