by Suman Gupta
Mumbai: Union Bank of India paid the penalty as they wasted two penalty strokes in normal play and they went onto suffer 7-8 sudden death defeat at the hands of a spirited and determined Coorg Sports Club in a Men’s Open semi-finalmatch of the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana’s 38th Victor D’Mello Memorial Invitational Rink Hockey Tournament 2019, organized under the auspices of the MHAL, and played at the Gymkhana’s floodlit tennis courts late Thursday evening. The full-time score was 1-1.
Prince Chaurasia scored in the very second minute to give Union Bank an early lead. But, they were unable to consolidate their advantage as they failed to convert from two penalties in either half. First, Anand Rai’s high scoop was brilliantly saved by an agile Coorg goalkeeper Prateik Solanki who showed good anticipation and palmed the ball away. In the second period Union Bank earned another penalty and this time Chaurasia in an attempt to beat Prateik pushed into the framework.
The Coorg outfit having survived those two left-offs came back strongly and put pressure on the Union Bank goal. They showed more urgency in their approach and their efforts were rewarded at the death when Somanna B.P. deflected home following a move down the right to draw level and force the tie-breaker.
The stalemate continued in the tie-breaker duel which finished at 4-4 and the sudden death also witnessed tense moments as the scores remained deadlocked till 7-all before Chaurasia pushed out and Machaiah P.B. successfully converted to score the crucial goal to secure Coorg’s victory and a passage to the final.
Meanwhile, Bombay Republicans are set for a double as both their men and women teams have reached their respective finals.
In the second men’s semi-finals, Republicans got the better of Ave Maria 5-3 also via the tie-breaker after full-time ended in a 2-2 draw. For Republicans Darshan Gaokar and Venkatesh Devkar scored two goals each and Bhim Batala got one while Ave Maria scored through a brace from Vikram Simon and Girish Pimpale.
The Republicans women outfit proved too strong for Freunds Red as they stormed to a facile 8-0 win. Rijuta Mullick scored four goals, Chanchan Devi got two and Chaitrali Gawade and Jaswinder K. added one each to complete the scoring.
Central Railway women moved a step closer to the defence of their title as they handed Freunds Blue a 4-1 defeat. Renuka Yadav got a brace of goals, while Ranjita S. and Preeti Dubey netted one apiece, while Freunds Blue pulled one back through Ruqqaiya Shaikh.
Results – Women (semi-final): Central Railway 4 (Renuka Yadav 2, Ranjita S., Preeti Dubey) beat Freunds Blue 1 (Ruqqaiya Shaikh).
Bombay Republicans 7 (Rijuta Mullick 4, Chanchan Devi 2, Chaitrali Gawade, Jaswinder K) beat Freunds Red 0.
Veteran Men’s (semi-finals): Hockey Dadar 2 (Niren Pimenta, Simon Fernandes) beat Hockey Kalina 1 (Devinder Kumar)
Rebels SC 6 (Meghraj Murthy 2, Alexander Solomon, Madan Vishwanathan, George Esteves, Troy D’Mello) beat Savio Club ‘A’, Andheri 1 (Peter Fernandes).
Men Open (Semi-finals): Bombay Republicans 5 (Darshan Gaokar 2, Venkatesh Devkar 2, Bhim Batala) beat Ave Maria SC 3 (Vikram Simon 2, Girish Pimpale).
Coorg SC (Somanna B.P. 4, Machaiah P.B., 3, Uttappa Mokshit) beat Union Bank of India 7 (Prince Chaurasia 3, Suraj Shahi 3, Kartik Sharma).