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Bombay Gold Cup: Day III: Western Rly rout MRSA (4/18/2009)
Western Rly rout MRSA

Former champions Western Railway, Mumbai launched a second half onslaught to rout Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar 5-2 to enter the elite main draw, in the 47th Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Tournament at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium on Saturday.

Western, who won the Bombay Gold Cup in 2005, will join Guru Tegh Bahadur runners-up Indian Oil and Border Security Force (Jalandhar) in Group C of the elite 12-team league.

The young Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy (MRSA) got off to a dream start and surprised their formidable opponents with a sixth minute goal scored by drag-flicker Karanpal Singh off a penalty corner.

Fresh and aggressive, MRSA were a delightful combination and tried to dominate from the word go. They should have swelled their early lead that would have put Western under pressure. But soon after the first goal, Navjot Singh’s brilliant solo effort went abegging after he beat two defenders but failed to get past Western goalkeeper Sairam Bishnoi.

Western warmed up by the end of the first quarter and were rewarded with the equaliser when Amarjeet Singh slammed home off a 26th minute penalty corner.

Western found their rhythm by then and initiated more moves to put the MRSA defence under pressure. Off one such move, the mercurial Chinglen Sana fired into the net with a brilliant effort to give his team a 2-1 lead at half time.

Soon after the lemon break, Western striker Hardeep Singh, who scored the third goal in the 55th minute, had a chance to enhance the lead but his powerful reverse hit was deflected out by MSRA goalkeeper Bikramjit Singh who was outstanding with a plethora of saves that not only kept the visitors in the match until the 50th minute but also rescued them from losing by a bigger margin.

Following Bikramjit’s effort, MRSA enhanced their hopes when captain Mandeep Singh fired in the equaliser as he scooped past a bewildered Western defence after evading two defenders with delightful stick work off a penalty corner.

Stung by MRSA’s determined challenge, Western relied on experience and slammed in three goals at regular intervals including a 57th minute penalty stroke by Mohd. Tariq and a last minute strike by Jayesh Jadhav to complete the rout.

Result: Western Rly bt 5 (Amarjeet Singh, Chinglen Sana, Hardeep Singh, Mohd Tariq, Jayesh Jadhav) bt Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar 2 (Karanpal Singh, Mandeep Singh).

SUNDAY: 4.15 p.m. Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai vs Panposh XI, Orissa.

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