Railways beat Haryana 7-1, win Senior women''s National C''ship

Sonepat, Jan 30 (PTI) Railways annexed the inauguralHockey India Senior women''s National Championship as theytrounced hosts Haryana 7-1 at Motilal Nehru Sports School atRai here today.

The star-studded virtual Indian team led 5-1 at thebreather leaving the Haryana squad clueless. The Haryana sidewas handicapped by the absence of international player MamtaKharab due to injury, thus leaving the responsibility to Indiaskipper Surinder Kaur.

The Railways meant business as captain Saba Anjumdeflected a penalty corner home in the 2nd minute, beforestriker Rani slotted past goalkeeper Savita ten minutes laterafter being set up by Chanchan Devi.

The Railways appeared to go on a rampage as they foundthe target again in quick succession with two more goalswithin a gap of two minutes.

Midfielder Asunta Lakra first struck a blinder in the14th minute and Deepika Thakur made no mistake as she rippedpast Haryana defenders Jaspreet Kaur and Jaswinder in the 15thminute.

Jasjeet Kaur Handa then brought home the fifth goal inthe 27th minute as Railways continued its domination in thefirst half.

Haryana only managed a consolation goal two minutesbefore the break with a softly hit penalty corner by full backSandeep Kaur which rolled past rival goalkeeper Deepika Murty.

The hosts, however, put up a better fight in the secondhalf, defending inside their striking circle and thus denyingtheir rival forwards Rani, Jasjeet, Saba and Chanchan space.

However, Railways proved unstoppable with Rani strikingfrom a pass by Kirandeep Kaur in the 53rd minute, whiledefender Joydeep Kaur rounded off the tally with a 66th minutepenalty corner conversion to script a fluent victory.

Earlier, a hat-trick by Elin Lakra enabled Orissa to beatPunjab 5-3 to win the bronze medal.

Orissa opened their account in the 3rd minute when LilimaMinz reverse tapped past Punjab custodian Gursharan Kaur.

Punjab found the equaliser in the 23rd minute with apenalty corner conversion by Vartika Singh.

However they conceded the lead to their rivals again inthe 31st minute with Elin Lakra making no mistake from apenalty corner.

Orissa increased their tally after the break with Elinagain on target with a corner conversion in the 43rd minute.

Punjab pulled one back three minutes later with AnuradhaThokchom converting a penalty stroke awarded after Lalremruatiwas brought down in the striking circle.

Orissa, however, were undetered and went on to scoretheir fourth goal in the 48th minute when Elin struck againfrom open play and further consolidated their lead when shefound the target again from a set piece.

Thokchom was able to score the third goal for Punjab inthe dying minutes but that was not good enough.

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