Pune: Central Railway (Pune Division) staged a comeback win to dethrone defending champions Bombay Engineer Group, Khadki 2-1 to lift the 6th Late Hussain All India Hockey Tournament at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, on Tuesday.
Victory for Central Railway was their second after annexing the first edition of the tournament back in 2009.
In a tight final where no inch was spared by either side, BEG, who were playing the tournament with seven new recruits, found their opponents push the pace which led to conceding two penalty corners in the opening 10 minutes.
Thereafter, the local Senior Divison champs BEG, began to dominate.
Past the half hour, BEG took the lead through Ajit Shinde. The move had Sanjay Toppo’s well-directed pass from the right near the centre line find Ajit clear. Moving into the circle, Ajit did well to fox goalkeeper an advancing Saleem Khan with reverse stick finish. At half time, BEG led 1-0.
On resumption, Central Railway struck back when former India international Yuvraj Walmiki scored the 41st minute. Vishal Pillay created the situation after driving his pass down the centre to find Yuvraj clean on top of the circle. What followed was a receive turn and bang sequence that beat goalkeeper Saleem Khan.
Yuvraj’s goal was his eight of the tournament and had the distinction of scoring in each of the four matches he played. His effort also includes two hatricks.
The winner was netted off the fifth penalty corner forced by Central Railway which was converted by Vishal Pillay (65th minute). Vishal’s drag to the top right corner turned out to be the winner.
Earlier in the third-place play off, local Junior Division champions Krida Prabodhini scored a huge 11-2 win over PCMC XI. The win was powered by a four goal effort by Ajinkya Jadhav (17th, 38th, 68th, 70th) and a brace each by Harish Shingdi (5th, 70th) and Aniket Gurav (51st, 52nd).
For PCMC, who were drafted into the tournament in the last minute, Anand Gaikwad (47th) and Ankush Kamble (66th) pulled two goals back.
Winners Central Railway (Pune Division) went home richer by Rs. 21,000, while the runners up BEG, Khadki took home Rs. 11,000.
All India women’s tournament in 2018
- The Late Hussain Nabi Shaikh Hockey and Sports Foundation announced a surprise in the form of conducting a first-of-its-kind All-India Women’s tournament in 2018.
- Foundation Vice President, Vibhakar Telore made the formal public announcement at the prize distribution ceremony. Detailing the tournament, Foundation and Patron Firoz Shaikh said, “A tournament for Women was the only missing detail in our quest to reach out to all the segments.”
- The women’s tournament adds up to the existing all India tournament for men’s tourney, the all India schools tournament and the Inter-school girls tournament that the foundation conducts every year.
Final: Central Railway (Pune Division) 2 (Yuvraj Walmiki 41st; Vishal Pillay 65th) bt Bombay Engineer Group, Khadki: 1 (Ajit Shinde 31st).
Third-Place play-off: Krida Prabodhini 11 (Harish Shingdi 5th, 70th; Sunil Rathod 9th; Ajinkya Jadhav 17th, 38th, 68th, 70th; Rajes Mujawar 24th; Venkatesh Kenche 27th; Aniket Gurav 51st, 52nd) bt PCMC XI : 2 (Anand Gaikwad 47th; Ankush Kamble 66th).
Best Player of Tournament: Yuvraj Walmiki (Central Railway)
Best Goalkeeper: Avdhoot Solankar (CR)
Best Defender: Kanchan Rajbir (BEG)
Best Half: Rahul Shinde (Krida Prabodhini, Khadki)
Best Forward: Sanjay Toppo (BEG)
Best Promising Team: Sports Authority of Gujarat.
Life Time Achievement Award: Kiran Khairale and Sikander Jaffer.