Central Railway ‘receive, turn and bang’ way to Late Hussain All India Hockey title
Victory for Central Railways was their second after annexing the first edition of the tournament back in 2009.Updated: Jul 26, 2017 12:53 IST
Central Railways (Pune Division) staged a comeback win to dethrone defending champions Bombay Engineer Group, Khadki 2-1, to lift the 6th Late Hussain All India Hockey Tournament at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri, on Tuesday.
Victory for Central Railways was their second after annexing the first edition of the tournament back in 2009. In a tight final, where no inch was spared, BEG, who were playing the tournament with seven new recruits, found their opponents push the pace which led to conceding two penalty corners in the opening 10 minutes.
Thereafter, the local senior division champs BEG, settled down and began to dominate.
Past the half hour mark, BEG took the lead through Ajit Shinde.
The move had Sanjay Toppo’s well-directed pass from the right near the centre line find Ajit clear. Moving into the circle, Ajit did well to fox an advancing goalkeeper Saleem Khan with reverse stick finish.
At half time, BEG led 1-0. On resumption, Central Railways struck back when former India international Yuvraj Walmiki scored in the 41st minute. Vishal Pillay created the situation after driving his pass down the centre to find Yuvraj clean on top of the circle. What followed was a receive, turn and bang sequence that beat goalkeeper Saleem Khan.
Yuvraj’s goal was his eight of the tournament and he had the distinction of scoring in each of the four matches he played. His effort also includes two hatricks. The winner was netted off the fifth penalty corner forced by Central Railways which was converted by Vishal Pillay (65th minute). Vishal’s drag to the top right corner turned out to be the winner.
“Our two goalkeepers were busy with India camp so we were relying on our new recruit Saleem Khan. He couldn’t handle the pressure well, but overall he did a wonderful job,” said BEG coach Saurabh Rajput.
“Actually we were training our players for the inter-club recruit tournament to be held in Roorkee in September. So we give exposure to new players. And they were impressive throughout the tournament,” he added.
Earlier in the third-place play off, local junior division champions Krida Prabodhini scored a huge 11-2 win over PCMC XI. The win was powered by a four goal effort by Ajinkya Jadhav (17th, 38th, 68th, 70th) and a brace each by Harish Shingdi (5th, 70th) and Aniket Gurav (51st, 52nd). The others who scored were Sunil Rathod (9th) Rajes Mujawar (24th), Venkatesh Kenche (27th).
At half time, Krida Prabodhini led 4-0. For PCMC, who were drafted into the tournament in the last minute, Anand Gaikwad (47th) and Ankush Kamble (66th) pulled two goals back.
Winners Central Railways (Pune Division) went home richer by Rs. 21,000, while the runners up BEG, Khadki took home Rs. 11,000.
Best Player of Tournament: Yuvraj Walmiki (Central Railway, Pune Division)
Best Goalkeeper: Avdhoot Solankar (Central Railway, Pune Division)
Best Defender: Kanchan Rajbir (BEG, Khadki)
Bet Half: Rahul Shinde (Krida Prabodhini, Khadki)
Best Forward: Sanjay Toppo (BEG, Khadki).
Best Promising Team: Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG).
Life Time Achievement Award: Kiran Khairale and Sikander Jaffer (both umpires for their service to hockey)