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SRC slip on Indian Oil, Army draw

It won?t be wrong to say that some of the teams in the qualifiers were better than SRC, reports Uthra Ganesan.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 22:38 IST

One wonders when was the last time a game finished with a 12-0 scoreline in the Super League stage of a domestic meet. But things were quickly put into perspective with Indian Oil scoring at will against Sikh Regimental Centre (SRC) in their opening game of the Nehru Hockey tournament on Saturday.

With a celebrated line-up, IOC were clear favourites. But even they would not have expected a cakewalk. Captain Deepak Thakur and India discard Prabhjot Singh scored thrice each, Bikramjit Singh struck a brace while Deedar Singh, Roshan Minz, Diwakar Ram and Sardar Singh scored one apiece.

It won’t be wrong to say that some of the teams in the qualifiers were better than SRC. One of them was Karnataka XI, and they proved their worth against Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB). PSB, recently crowned national champions, were tied 2-2 till the last minute, when a penalty corner by Rajwinder Singh ensured them full points from the match.

But the Karnataka boys must be credited for displaying the same attacking play they had employed in the qualifiers. Appanna and Anup Anthony scored for Karnataka while Sharanjit Singh and Baljit Singh Chandi were the other scorers for PSB.

In the day’s last match, Army XI managed to hold BPCL 3-3 in a match they should have won. The armymen got six penalty corners but could convert only one. Along with the penalty corners they had at least two clear chances to score, but Suresh Kumar's fumbling ensured his team had to scramble for a late goal to draw the game. Ironically, it was Suresh who got them the first break (8th min).

BPCL equalised through captain Ajay Saroha's penalty corner in the 21st minute. 20 minutes later, Ajit Kumar Majhi scored from an acute angle from the left after being put through by Dhananjay Mahadik. Army had a chance to go two up but Suresh failed to capitalise. BPCL scored twice within two minutes to make the scoreline 3-2 in their favour. Army finally equalised through Mahadik's penalty corner.

Sunday's matches: BSF vs PNB (11 am), Punjab Police vs SRC (1 pm), Namdhari XI vs Army XI (3 pm).