Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jaypee Punjab Warriors silence spunky Ranchi Rhinos 4-2; Mumbai Magicians post first win

Jaypee Punjab Warriors dished out scintillating hockey to put it across Ranchi Rhinos 4-2 in the 2nd Hero Hockey India League at the Hockey Stadium in Mohali. The match started at a frenetic pace as both team looked to seize the early opportunities, but the goalkeepers of both teams were at their best, nullifying goal-scoring chances on a regular basis.

The Warriors were twice denied an opportunity when Rhinos goalkeeper Sushant Tirkey foiled the efforts of James Whetton and Jamie Dwyer. The home crowd was soon on their feet when Indian striker SV Sunil unleashed a rasping shot at the far post to beat Sushant Tirkey all ends up in the closing stages of the first quarters.

The Rhinos came out all guns blazing and not only equalizing but also pulling ahead through two penalty corner goals through Amit Rohidas and Justin Reid-Ross as hockey reached new heights in the second quarter.

The superb fightback by the Rhinos caught the Warriors unawares. However, the Mohali crowd were back to their cheering best when skipper Mark Knowles converted a penalty stroke as both sides were tied 2-2 at half-time.

The Rhinos, who missed several key players for this contest either due to injury or illness, kept raiding the Warriors’ citadel in the third quarter, but goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann stood tall and foiled their attempts.

The Barry Dancer-coached side regained the lead early in the final quarter when Sandeep Singh converted their first penalty corner. Aussie Kieren Govers made the most of their second PC as the Warriors were sitting pretty with a 4-2 lead.

The Rhinos threw everything into their attacks in a bid to score, but the Warriors kept them at bay to glean full points. The Punjab side is placed second with 35 points from nine games, while Rhinos are in fourth spot with 24 points from nine games.

Earlier, Dabur Mumbai Magicians breached their winless streak, getting the better of Kalinga Lancers 3-2 at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai.
Captain Glenn Turner gave the Magicians the lead in the 17th minute before Englishman Mark Gleghorne extended the lead with a penalty corner conversion.

The Lancers reduced the margin in the 43rd minute through Mohammed Nizammudin. However, the Magicians enhanced the lead in the 57th minute via Ravipal Singh. Argentine Lucas Villa scored a late goal for the Lancers, but the Magicians had did enough to pull off their first win of the 2014 HIL. They are still bottom-placed with 13 points from nine games.
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