Monday, December 24, 2007


Maratha warriors have just beaten the bangalore hifliers.Maratha Warriors notched up their second successive victory defeating Bangalore Hi-Fliers 2-0 in the fourth edition of the Premier Hockey League at the Sector 42 Stadium in Chandigarh on Sunday.

Hi-Fliers began on an aggressive note and attacked the rival goal earning two short corners in the 10th minute. They had a good chance to forge ahead but Maratha's first runner Viren Rasquinha dashed in to deflect Len Aiyappa's flick but in the process conceded another short corner. This time Warriors' custodian Adrian D'Souza anticipated well and palmed away Len Aiyappa's drag flick. Len could not show his prowess as the injections during the drill were a wee bit slow allowing the rivals a better chance to defend.

The second quarter saw a keen battle for supremacy and both the teams had an equal share of exchanges. However, after the half time, Maratha Warriors switched up gears taking control of the midfield. Skipper Viren Rasquinha and Vikram Pillay excelled in the midfield with tight control of the match. They fed their forwards well and also did well in containing the rival forays.

Their sustained pressure yielded them four short corners in this quarter, but their Dutch import Looijem Melchior could not come good with his drag flicks. Warriors had their best chance following a counterattack in the 48 th minute when Rehan Butt got the ball in front of the circle. He darted into the circle and with the entire defence out of place he positioned himself for a strike, but Hi-Fliers' goalie Bharat Chetri charged out to the top. Rehan sidestepped him and was about to take a shot when Bimal Lakra made a clean clearance to save the blushes for Bangalore.

But Warriors took the lead in the 61st minute converting the eighth of their nine penalty corners. Dhananjay Mahadik tried his hand at the drag flick and his grounder beat Chetri in Bangalore goal. Bangalore then had a chance to get the equalizer in the same minute they had a good chance but Warriors goal survived. Arjun's first shot was saved by goalkeeper Adrian and Sandeep Michael's second attempt off the deflection missed narrowly.

But immediately in the very next minute (62), Warriors struck again to seal the issue. Following a defensive lapse in the midfield, Warriors took the ball into the circle with two quick passes and their Korean import Kweeom Moon darted into the circle and dodged past an advancing goalkeeper and shot into the goal to redeem his two lapses earlier.

Vikram Pillay was declared man of the match.

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