Gwalior, Feb 10 (IANS) Railways came up with a scintillating performance to dethrone defending champions Punjab 3-2 in the final of the 9th Senior National Men Hockey Championship 2019, here on Sunday.
Both teams rallied cautiously in the first quarter as they kept the defences tight to prevent space in the striking circle.
With no potential circle penetrations made, the first quarter ended in a stalemate. But it was the defending champions who made the first breakthrough in the 23rd minute.
It was Rupinder Pal Singh who gave that precious 1-0 lead with a perfect drag. Only minutes before that, striker Ramandeep Singh had come close to scoring what would have been a rollicking goal but he missed by inches.
The lead, however, did not deter the Railway Sports Promotion Board as they tightened their defence and upped their ante in attack.
The third quarter belonged to Harsahib Singh who scored two crucial field goals in the 35th and 43rd minutes. Nilakanta Sharma of the Junior World Cup fame was instrumental in the Railway Sports Promotion Board's attack as he tested Hockey Punjab's defence by making forays inside their striking circle.
In the third quarter Dilpreet Singh scored an important goal in the 57th minute to take Railway Sports Promotion Board lead to 3-1. Though Ramandeep Singh finally converted a shot on goal after several attempts through the match in the 60th minute, it was not enough to snatch victory for victory.
In the bronze medal match, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board beat Punjab and Sind Bank 4-1. Talwinder Singh (8th minute), Devinder Walmiki (13th), Harmanpreet Singh (49th) and Mandeep Singh (57th) scored for the winners while Gaganpreet Singh (51st) scored for Punjab and Sind Bank.