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SAIL’s Hockey Shock to Orissa Icons (12/17/2008)
--Satish Sharma (Rourkela)
Bhubaneswar: SAIL Hockey Academy, Rourkela stunned the star studded Orissa Icons, Bhubaneswar, in the title clash of the inaugural floodlight six-a-side hockey tournament played at the Kalinga stadium, Bhubaneswar on 11th December. The youthful SHA team recorded a shocking 5-4 victory over Orissa Icons which had players like Dilip Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey, Lazarus Barla and William Xalxo in its rank.

With this victory SAIL Hockey Academy not only lifted the trophy but also they avenged their defeat suffered at the hands of Icons at the league stage. Academy team did not themselves to cow down by big names and they matched move to move of Icons team. They intensely fought against the ‘National Stars’ and before one minute of the final whistle match was stood at 4-4.

In the last minute a clever and coordinated move by SAIL team settled the match in their favour when Jerom Lakra scored the winning goal. For SAIL Skipper Amardeep Ekka and Sanjib Barla scored two goals each. For Orissa Icons Prabodh Tirkey struck three times and Ayub Kerketta scored another goal. In the semifainal matches SAIL Hockey Academy had beaten Centre for Excellency, Panposh 3-2 while in another semifinal match Orissa Icons routed the East Coast Railways 8-2. Indian skipper Prabodh Tirkey with the help of a hat trick had scored 5 goals in this match.

The three day tournament which was inaugurated on 9th December had a total of six teams in the fray. They were divided into two groups. The first phase was played on the league basis. In group one SAIL Hockey Academy began its campaign by beating Sports Hostel, Panposh 4-2. But they lost to Orissa Icons 1-3 to finish the table at the second position. Orissa Icons topped the table with two victories, 2nd being against sports hostel team 10-2. In group two Centre for Excellency, Panposh topped the table. They beat Orissa Police 11-0 and East Cost Railways 5-1. EC Railways bagged second position with a victory over Orissa Police 3-0.

Former national skipper Dilip Tirkey along with Prabodh Tirkey, Lazarus Barla and William Xalxo initiated this idea to hold a six-a-side hockey tournament in the capital to give a boost to hockey in the state. BSNL and HI-Tech came forward to prop up the project by agreeing to sponsor the tournament. The winners got Rs.10000/- along with the trophy while runners up became richer by Rs.7000/-. Amardeep Ekka of SAIL Hockey Academy was declared as the player of the tournament

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