Punjab, Sind Bank pip Bharat Petroleum 4-3 to win Nehru hockey title

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (UNI) Mandeep Singh scored a brace as Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB) downed Bharat Petroleum 4-3 to win the Nehru hockey title for the third time here today.

Earlier, Namdhari XI stroked out Indian Airlines 5-4 in the tie breaker which was applied after the teams were levelled 4-4 at the end of regulation period.

Despite seven goals being scored, the 70-minute final of the 44th Edition of the Nehru hockey failed to produce a thrilling contest.

At half time the score was 2-2.

For the winners, apart from Mandeep Singh(2) other goal getters were Vikramjit Singh and Kulwinder Singh (one each).

For Bharat Petroleum, Jarnail, Amar Ayamma and Gurpeet Singh scored a goal each.

The title contest was a tale of missed chances for both the sides. PSB, who last won this trophy in 1999,took a 2-0 lead only to squander it in a space of last four minutes of the first session.

The Oil men muffed two open chances in the first session and the Bank men did the same in the second half. The teams hardly showed any sense of urgency as the procedings turned out to be slow and drab.

Bank men, playing in their eighth final of the tournament, surged ahead in the 13th minute when they forced a penalty corner, Vikramjit's drag flick was saved by goalkeeper but on the rebound Gurvinder Singh Chandi's shot hit defender Pundlik's foot resulting in a stroke which was converted by Vikramjit (1-0).

Six minutes later PSB had a good chance to increase the lead but Mandeep failed to put the ball in the open cage as the goal keeper had rushed out.

However, Mandeep made amends within a minute scoring a fine goal after being set up by Chandi (2-0).

Bharat Petroleum's counter attacks followed and in the 30th minute Amar Ayamma created a fine opening for Jarnail who deflected the ball home (1-2).

The Oil men got two good openings immediately afer this goal but the times Amar Ayamma fumbled and wasted the chances not only to equalise but to take the lead.

However, just before the breather, Amar redeemed himself by scoring a fine goal following a free hit taken by Gurpreet Singh, to make it 2-2.

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