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Indian Oil, SCR charge to 2nd successive wins; virtually through to semis

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mumbai: Former champions Indian Oil, Mumbai and South Central Railway (SCR), Secundrabad charged to their second successive wins and are virtually through to the semi-finals of the 13th PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament.

First in a Pool-B match in the afternoon, Indian Oil romped to a 4-2 win against MHAL President’s XI and later in the evening SCR produced another slick combined performance to overcome Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) 3-1 in a Pool-A match, played at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate on Wednesday.

Indian Oil had defeated Central Railway, Mumbai 7-1 on Tuesday, while SCR comprehensively beat another Mumbai outfit Indian Navy 3-1 in their opening match on Monday.

Both Indian Oil and SCR top their respective pools with six points each.

MHAL President’s XI and BPCL have lost both their matches so far and are out of contention of making the semis. BPCL had lost to Punjab Police 0-1 on Tuesday, while President’s XI were beaten 3-1 by Army XI on the opening day.

SCR produced a pleasing display as they showed good coordination and understanding to launch a number of sorties at the rival citadel and dominated play. They did not take too long to get on the scoreboard, striking twice in quick succession. First Gagandeep Singh scored from a penalty corner in the ninth minute and two minutes later Mayank James slotted home from a neat combined move to take a 2-0 cushion.

BPCL, who finished runners-up in 2000, replied back when Mumbai lad Devinder Walmiki sounded the boards in the 17th minute.

But the Secundrabad outfit continued to hold the upper hand and after a couple of close misses, they added the third when James deflected home Poonacha’s firm hit into the striking circle in the 63rd minute to secure the win.

Earlier, Indian Oil skipper Deepak Thakur drew first blood for the team with a field goal in the very second minute. But the MHAL youngsters fought back and managed to draw level when Nikhil Pardeshi converted a penalty corner in the eighth minute. But seven minutes later, Indian Oil regained the lead through Sunil Yadav’s penalty corner conversion and they went into the break with a slender 2-1 lead.

On resumption the President side kept fighting and managed to create a couple of goal scoring chances, but they lacked finishing.

Indian Oil added the third through drag-flicker Gagandeep Singh’s penalty corner in the 45th minute. The President outfit reduced the deficit when Mayur Patil scored from a field effort in the 65th minute before Indian Oil once again hit the target through Sukhjeet Singh in the 68th minute to complete their win.

Results – Pool-A: South Central Railway 3 (Gagandeep Singh 9th-PC, Mayank James 11th, 63rd) beat BPCL 1 (Devinder Walmiki 17th).
Pool-B: Indian Oil 4 (Deepak Thakur 2nd, Sunil Yadav 15th-PC, Gagandeep Singh 45th-PC, Sukhjeet Singh 68th) beat MHAL President’s XI 2 (Nikhil Pardeshi 8th-PC, Mayur Patil 65th).
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