Federation Cup Kabaddi: Services, Railways emerge champions
Mumbai, Feb 13 (PTI) Services and Indian Railways registered hard-fought victories to bag the mens and womens titles respectively in the third Federation Cup Kabaddi tournament here.
In the finals played under floodlights last night, Services men quelled the late challenge from Karnakata to win 28-25 while the Railways women rode on Pinki Roys superb catch of the Himachal Pradesh raider in the final minute to win 26-25.
The champions went home richer by Rs 2,00,000 while the runners-up teams earned a prize purse of Rs 1,00,000.
National champions Himachal Pradesh showed why they were such a difficult side to beat as they staged a late comeback in the final after trailing 16-9 at half time.
Raider Nidhi Sharma (6 points) and defender Sarika (3) led Himachals fightback in the second half as they packed off the entire Railways team with five minutes to spare to reduce the deficit.
With pressure mounting, Railways players made many errors and both the teams were locked on 25-25 with a minute to play.
But the experienced Roy kept her nerves to catch Sharma and help her team avenge last months loss in the Nationals. Payal Chowdhary and Sonali Singate earned five points each from their raids for the champions.
The mens final threatened to be a one-sided affair till the half time as Services registered an all-out in the 10th minute to take a 11-2 lead against Karnataka and went into the break leading 15-9.
However, Karnataka came out all guns blazing in the second half and levelled the scores at 18-18 with an all-out and both the teams were locked on 24-24 with five minutes left to play.
Services Monu Goyal then earned a bonus and got two points with his catching to help his team nose ahead at this crucial juncture. The eventual champions ensured that they did not allow Karnataka to stage another comeback.
Earlier in the semifinals, Services had defeated Haryana 38-31 while Karnataka got the better of national champions and hosts Maharashtra 39-31.
In the womens last four matches, Railways defeated Punjab 38-31 while Himachal Pradesh beat Haryana 36-29