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Golden Jubilee Torex Nehru Cup goes to PSB (11/26/2013)
--K. Arumugam
Golden Jubilee Torex Nehru Cup goes to PSB

Despite conceding an own goal early in the match, valiant Punjab and Sindh Bank came from behind (0-2, 2-2, 3-) to win the prestigious Golden Jubilee Senior Nehru Cup, sponsored by Torex, played amidst a sizeable crowd at the Shivaji Stadium here in New Delhi today.

undefined The losing Bharat Petroleum Corporation limited, managed by resilent Sabu Varkey, held on to the slender lead of 3-2 for long, but a huge defence blunder -- a slow backpass from top of D, which a nippy PSB forwarded intercepted - led to a gifted penalty corner which their rival made use of to draw the score 3-3, and then emerge champions in the penalty shoot out.

Earlier, Amar Aiyamma, the doyen of domestic hockey, who announced retirement from active hockey today, struck an early blow and then followed it up with one more. However, the veteran could not keep the board moving in the penalty shoot out, and then saw to his dismay two of his team mates too repeat the same, and thus the Oil major failed to win any of the six finals they played here at the Shivaji Stadium in the Sr. Nehru Cup.

This year’s Senior Cup, befitting the occasion – golden jubilee year- turned out to be a grand success, with none other than Army Chief General Bikramjit Singh gracing the occasion from witnessing the full match, and stayed fully to see the both great teams of India bloom on the turf to giving away various awards.

undefined The focus of the day of course was who will win the Best Player of the Tournament -- reason being a costly car decked up from midway though the tournament at the entrance of the stadium -- the crowd waited for long to finish various routines the Nehru Society is never tired of, and came to know its Bikramjit Singh of PSB.

The donor P.S. Chhatwal, who is also the title sponsor of the Golden Jubilee event, gave away a replica of car, the suspense was over with over-enthusiastic crowd applause.

During the half time of the match, veteran journalists K. Datta of Times of India and Roshan Lal Sethi of Nav Bharat Times were felicitated for their lifetime service to the cause of hockey, followed it up with a honour to triple Olympian Balbir Singh Sr. undefined

Triple Olympian Harbinder Singh, Dronacharya Awardee Harendra Singh and former international Rohit Chauhan formed the panel which selected the Best Player award, but had to wait till the last minute before finalizing their decisions, as none seemed a clear outstanding player, though ultimately the choice fell on Bikramjit Singh, who led his side to the title.

Over all, Rs.9.1 lakh was distributed as prize money, which is undoubtedly a domestic record in terms of high prize money, with the winning team walking away with a lion’s share of Rs. 5 lakh.

It is indeed a great feeling that one of the domestic hockey events has reached its 50th years, and is still vibrant and kicking. A sign that is almost a survival success.

Earlier, the Indian Oil Corporation gave vent to its anger of losing out the final in the bronze medal match, drubbing hapless South Central Railways 9-0.

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