Pune, Dec 15 (UNI) Rashtriya Chemical Fertilisers (RCF) Mumbai put paid to the aspirations of defending champions Maharashtra Krida Mandal(MKM) Kolhapur, registering a hard fought 3-1 win today, and will take on Vikram Pillay Academy Pune in the final of the 4th Avinash Bhide memorial state level hockey championship here at the S P College ground.
In the other semi-finals, the gritty Vikram Pillay Academy boys stroked out last years runner-up Pune City Police 6-5 after being held 1-1 draw in the full time play.
The well knit RCF dominated the proceedings but had to wait till the 26th minute to snatch the lead. Right back Solomon Alexander converted the penalty strokes with striker Meghraj Moorthi after getting past a host of defenders was wrongly tackled in the circle and umpire Santosh Musaley pointed to the spot. They increased the lead in the next minute when their international right extreme Mahesh Bagade made a fine run down the flank and found the mark with a stiff drive to beat the rival custodian.
Changing over with 2-0 advantage the hard hitting Kolhapur side reduced the margin via centre forward Sagar Jadhav in the 56th minute, making a solo burst from the 25 yard line. Solomon Alexander went onto complete the winner tally after capitalising on the opening made by Alwyn Alexander in the 58th minute. Solomon thus completed a fine brace. RCF had forced three penalty corners but in vain, while MKM Kolhapur had four but failed to give meaning to any of them.
The second semi-final between Vikram Pillay Academy, Pune and Pune City Police was fought on even terms. The city cops shot into the lead in the 18th minute when Anil Phasge made no mistake with the second penalty corner sounding the board with a rasping drive.
The academy boys restored parity in the 40th minute through inside right Cyril Bernard, who was put in possession by Vikas Pillay.
In the resultant tie breaker, the academy boys proved more versatile as they converted all the five strokes through Singhai Singh, Vikas Pillay, Victo Singh, Ganesh Jadhav and Chandra Prakash.
The rivals scored via Bashir Sayed, Umesh Pulgam, Harish Sapkal and Prakash Sapkal. Wajid Shaikh muffed the stroke.
MKM Kolhapur will take on Pune City Police in the hardlines cup at 1300 hours while RCF Mumbai locks horns with Vikram Pillay Academy Pune in the finals at 1600 hours UNI