PSB beats Indian Railways

Engrossing in large measure and mediocre in parts, the 90th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here on Saturday provided contrasting performances from teams, both seasoned and young.

DIVING EFFORT: Karnataka goalkeeper Jagdeep Dayal stops ONGC's Manu Machmaiam's shot at the target in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: M. Vedhan

Jagwanth Singh’s hat-trick enabled ONGC blunt a youthful Karnataka 6-3 while Punjab & Sind Bank had the measure of National champion Indian Railways 2-1 in Pool-B matches.

Later, BPCL submerged Mumbai in a late blitzkrieg of goals to win 5-1 in a Pool-A tie.

Karnataka flattered to deceive in its match against ONGC after promising so much in the match with PSB the other day.

The first 20 minutes belonged to Karnataka. It was a treat to watch the team compete with zest and harmony.

The forwards were quite quick on the counter-attacks and the interceptions by the defence inside the circle were of top class.

Honnur Swamy’s pushed a high ball into the net to give the lead for Karnataka. Not to be undone,

ONGC immediately nullified the advantage through Preetinder Singh whose scoop shot found the roof of the net.

Jagwanth Singh, the hat-trick man, was alacrity personified, and rightfully he turned out to be the star of the day. His speed and razor sharp deflection paved the way for his team’s triumph.

First, he deflected home a powerful drive from Gurjinder Singh. And Gurjinder again weaved his way from the right to pass it to Jagwanth who pushed it home. Karnataka’s back was broken in the first half; a shock it couldn’t recover from in the second session. ONGC was happy to rub it in with three more goals.

PSB produced a strong display after a lacklustre performance the other day. Against Railways, it was PSB which dominated throughout.

Marking the Railway’s linkman Affan Yousuf was half the job done for PSB. Moreover, Yousuf appeared lacklustre and couldn’t make much with the few chances he got. Gaganpeet Singh opened the account for PSB with near-perfect strike off a penalty corner.

There were several raids from captain Ramandeep Singh and Satbir Singh that gave jitters to the ‘keeper Jagraj Singh. Railways fought back through Amit Rohidas whose grounder off a penalty corner in the second session found the target.

Jaskaran Singh netted the winning goal for PSB with a stunning backhander on-the-run and the team’s forwards continued to send shivers down the spines of the Railways defence.

Even fact, Railways was luck to lose by a small margin.

The results:

Pool-A: BPCL 5 (Amir Khan 14, Gurpreet Singh 21, Tushar Khandekar 55 & 69, S.V. Sunil 70) bt Mumbai HA 1 (Anup Valmiki 11).

Pool-B: ONGC 6 (Preetinder Singh 16, Mandeep Antil 57, Jagwanth Singh 21, 27, 60, Gurvinder Singh 67) bt Karnataka 3 (Honnur Swamy 15, Abhishek 40 & 68).

PSB 2 (Gaganpeet Singh 16, Jaskaran Singh 28) bt Indian Railways 1 (Amit Rohidas 48).