IOCL, ONGC in Murugappa final

July 24th, 2010 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 24 (IANS) Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation entered the final of the 86th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament with hard-fought victories here Saturday.

IOCL overcame a luckless Indian Railways 4-2 while ONGC got past Punjab National Bank 3-2 in the semi-finals both of which witnessed unseemly scenes with players repeatedly protesting umpiring decisions and also a couple of goals.

Indeed, Indian Oil, with a virtual India line-up, were rather lucky and the four goals they scored were more due to unforgivable defensive lapses than any creativity on part of the star forwardline. The Railways too had their chances, but blew them on the altar of poor finish.

IOCL profited on goals by Roshan Minz (1st), Deepak Thakur (50th), Prabhjot Singh (53rd) and Ramachandra Raghunath (61st), all of whom have donned India colours. For the Railways, it was the tireless duo of Chengappa (41st) and Md. Abdul Aleem (48th) who did the star turn.

IOCL began well enough with Minz finding the boards from Inderjit Singh Chadha’s pass within the first minute and thereafter drew blank thanks to some wonderful defending by the Railwaymen.

On change of ends, Chenappa did a superb half-turn and scored after Aleem snatched the ball from Raghunath and passed inside the circle for the equalizer. Soon after, Aleem himself put Railways ahead (2-1) with a neat deflection of Chinglen Sana’s pass.

The IOCL equalizer when Thakur slammed home a rebound off goalkeeper Suraj Kanta who blocked a Prabhjot attempt, was hotly disputed with Railways claiming an infringement on part of one of the rival forwards. After a brief hold-up the match resumed.

IOCL then took a grip on the match when Prabhjot put home a rebound after Kanta blocked a long hit from Raghunath who later converted a penalty corner for the last goal of the game.

Earlier, ONGC did well to shrug off an early reverse to put it past Punjab National Bank in an ill-tempered and scrappy game that threatened to get out of hand with both umpires, Pankaj Tyagi and Surya Prakash going soft on indiscipline.

ONGC were well-served by their schemer Pramod Kumar who played a key role as Balwinder Singh (18th), Gurwinder Singh (47th) and Jagwant Singh (55th) scored while PNB replied through Ranjit Singh (13th) and Bruno Lugun (52nd).

It was PNB who drew first blood, much against run of play when Ranjit deflected a Yudhvir Singh pass, but their lead was short-lived as ONGC equalized soon after when Balwinder found the net from a penalty corner.

On resumption, the game turned rather physical with players indulging in elbowing each other and rough tackles besides arguing umpiring decisions. However, ONGC looked the more composed unit and forged ahead when Gurwinder got a touch to Pramod Kumar’s cross to take a 2-1 lead, but PNB equalized not long after as Lugun reached out to deflect a withering shot by Yudhvir to level the scores.

ONGC yet again stepped up the pace and Jagwant Singh let fly from a rebound after goalkeeper Jasbir Singh came up with yet another save, this time off Dharmender’s attempt.

Thereafter, ONGC managed to sit on the lead to emerge deserving winners.

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