Chandigarh, Feb 12 (UNI) Playing an inspired game, Maratha Warriors defeated defending champions Bangalore Lions by 3-1 in the Premier Hockey League and took their points tally to 10 at the Sector 42 Floodlit Hockey Stadium here tonight.
The winners, led 2-0 at half time.
Bangalore Lions have collected nine points so far. It was Marathas' first win in the regulation period. Their earlier three wins were recorded in the extra time.
Bangalore Lions defender and drag flicker Len Aiyappa failed to find his form and all his three penalty-corner shots failed to demolish the stonewall put up by Maratha Warriors goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza. His first penalty corner shot was saved by D'Souza in the seventh minute. Len's another corner shot in the 33rd minute was again thwarted by an alert D'Souza. Len failed yet again in the 37th minute. This time D'Souza took the shot on his pads and before any damage could be done, Warriors' skipper Viren Rasquinha cleared it in a swift action. Having not met with success, Gurpreet was asked to take the fourth penalty corner. He too did not meet with any success.
Maratha Warriors, in all whites, took time to settle down. They started asserting themselves and forged ahead in the 19th minute.
Hardeep Singh, who was adjudged the man of the match, trapped a scoop and got the better of one defender before passing it to Shivinder Singh caught Bangalore Lions goalkeeper Bharat Chetri on the wrong foot.
Maratha Warriors could have doubled the margin in the 26th minute but a thundering reverse shot from an angle went wide missing the mark by a narrow margin. However, Marathas could not be denied another goal in the 31st minute when they forced their second penalty corner and Pakistan star player Imran Warsi sounded the board with a powerful drive.