RSPB stun Punjab to lift Senior National Men's Hockey title
Gwalior, Feb 10 (PTI) Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) dished out a scintillating performance to stun defending champions Punjab 3-2 and lift the ninth Senior National Men's Hockey Championship crown here on Sunday.
Harsahib Singh (35th, 45th minutes) scored a brace while Dilpreet Singh (57th) struck late for the winners.
Punjab's goals came from the sticks of Rupinder Pal Singh (23rd) and Ramadeep Singh (60th).
Both the teams rallied cautiously in the first quarter as they kept their defence tight and didn't allow space in their striking circles.
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, who gave Punjab the lead with a perfect drag-flick.
Only minutes before that, striker Ramandeep had come close to scoring what would have been a rollicking goal but he missed by inches.
The lead, however, did not deter RSPB as they made their intentions clear with repeated attacks.
The third quarter belonged to Harsahib, who scored two crucial field goals in the 35th and 43rd minute to reverse the scoreline in RSPB's favour.
Dilpreet then increased RSPB's lead to 3-1 by scoring an important goal in the 57th.
After several attempts throughout the match, Ramandeep finally converted a shot on goal just at the stroke of final hooter but it was not enough to snatch victory from RSPB.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) beat Punjab & Sind Bank 4-1 to clinch the bronze medal.
Talwinder Singh (8th), Devinder Walmiki (13th), Harmanpreet Singh (49th) and Mandeep Singh (57th) scored for the winners while Gaganpreet Singh (51st) scored Punjab & Sind Bank's lone goal.