Bangalore Hi-Fliers, Orissa Steelers keep their hopes alive

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Chnandigarh, Dec 29 (UNI) Bangalore Hi-Fliers were occupying the top position in points table with 11 points and Chandigarh Dynamos were at the second place with nine points at conclusion of 15 matches in the IV Premier Hockey League being played af the floodlit Sector 42 Hockey Stadium here on Saturday tonight.

Bangalore Fliers and defending champions today recorded identical 4-2 victories over their respective rivals..

Bangalore Hi-Fliers snatched full three points from bottom-placed in the seven-team league phase by beating them 4-2. Later, Orissa Steelers drubbed Maratha Warriors by the same score. Orissa Steelers are keeping their hopes alive as they climbed to third position with eight points. Their last league match is against last year's runners-up Sher-E-Jalandhar on January 3.

Hot contenders and local favourites Chandigarh Dynamos were at the second spot with nine points from four encounters they have played so far. With seven points in their kitty from four matches, Maratha Warriors were at the fourth spot. Hyderabad Sultans and Sher-E-Jalandhar were tied at fifth place with five points each.

Chennai Veerans, without any points to their credit, were at the bottom and are out of the race for the semi-final berth.

Orissa Steelers, led by former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey, have two victories in the regulation period which contributed six points out of eight. Two points they were awarded after losing in shootouts.

Team winning in tie-breakers are awarded two points and losers one.

However, the goals score in the shoot-out are not counted to decide the goal difference.

Orissa Steelers and Maratha Warriors fought well tonight. The two goals Maratha Warriors scored were through the penalty corner conversion by their Dutch import Melchior Looijen. He converted penalty corners i the 57th and 62nd minutes to reduce the margin.

Roshan Minz gave Orissa Steelers a solid start with a field goal in the very seventh minute. Then Pakistan speedy forward Shakeel Abassi displayed his skills to score field goals in the 50th and 58th minute and Damandeep Singh completed the winners' tally in the 59th minute. The intensity of the match was evident as five goals were scored in 12 minutes (50th, 57th, 58th, 59th and 62nd).

Shivinder Singh Maratha Warriors and Korean Kim Chul of Orissa Steelers were show yellow cards for pushing each other and exchanging hot words in the 47th minute.

Sunday's fixtures: Sher-E-Jalandhar vs Bangalore Hi-Fliers (1.30 p.m.) and Chandigarh Dynamos vs Maratha Warriors (4 p.m.).

Points table after Satruday (Dec 29) matches: Team P W L ET-W ET-L GF GA GD Pts Bangalore Hi-Fliers 5 3 1 1 0 11 9 2 11 Chandigarh Dynamos 4 3 1 - - 7 4 3 9 Orissa Steelers 5 2 1 0 2 10 7 3 8 Maratha Warriors 4 2 1 0 1 9 6 3 7 Hyderabad Sultans 4 1 2 1 0 5 4 1 5 Sher-e-Jallandhar 4 1 2 1 0 4 6 -2 5 Chennai Veerans 4 0 4 - - 3 13 -10 0 UNI

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