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Women hockey captivates interest at ongoing National Games as the turf witness four exciting clashes

  •  Odisha continues winning spree, defeated Karnataka 5-1
  • –          Haryana trounced Kerala 5-1 
  • –          Punjab registers second win, defeated Maharashtra 2-0
  • –          Jharkhand records first win, beating Uttar Pradesh 2-1

 Kerala, 05 February 2015: The 35th National Games saw four remarkable and breathtaking games of hockey being played at the New Hockey Stadium, Kollam (Kerala). Full of enthusiasm and zeal and bringing their finest game approaches into play, the teams from eight different states clashed with each other. Odisha defeated Karnataka by 5-1, Haryana trounced Kerala 5-1, Punjab won over Maharashtra by 2-0 and Jharkhand women beat Uttar Pradesh 2-1.

In the first match of the day, Odisha women went on with full fervour to register their second win in the ongoing Games, routing Karnataka women by a huge score of 5-1. With the first goal coming in as early as in the fifth minute into the game, it was Ambika Toppo of Odisha who converted a penalty corner into a perfect goal, giving her side an early lead of 1-0. Jeera Ekka scored the second goal for Odisha in the 17thminute, again through penalty corner conversion. The Women from Karnataka made their best endeavours to breach the strong defence of the opponents and reach the nets but to no avail. Continuing her scoring spree from last match played, Nil Projita Majhi from Odisha efficiently put the ball in the mesh and soared up the score to 3-0 before Ambika Toppo struck back again in the 27th minute and raised the score further to 4-0. The players from both the teams put in all their efforts to create as many scoring opportunities as possible and Birajini Ekka of Odisha was finally successful in finding the gap and scoring another goal for her team. While the Karnataka eves made their best attempts to post a goal, Niha was the lone scorer from the team who managed a field goal in the 52nd minute. At the blow of the final whistle, the scores stood at 5-1, declaring a well deserved win for Odisha eves.

The second game played in the day saw Haryana women registering a thumping win of 5-1 over home team Kerala. With a sturdy defence line-up in the match, the visiting team had gained control of the game from the very beginning. Opening the scoring account for her team, Nikky of Haryana scored the first goal of the game through a penalty corner conversion in the 30th minute, closely followed by another goal in the very next minute which was scored by Monika Dahiya as a penalty stroke. The onset of second half saw some really radiant and fine stick-work as the young and talented Monika scored another goal in the 42nd minute when she efficiently converted a penalty corner awarded to her team. Devika Sen and Jyoti scored the following two goals, both being field goals, for Haryana in the 48th and 52ndminute. Saumya M of Kerala scored the only goal for home team in the concluding minutes as the final scoreboard showed a score of 5-1 pronouncing the triumph of Haryana eves over Kerala women.

Continuing their winning streak, Punjab women beat Maharashtra 2-0 to win their second consecutive match in the ongoing tournament. The game saw a neck and neck clash between the two teams, playing with their finest line-up and strategies, to win over the other side.  After a long period of efforts, Manmeeth Kaur of Punjab scored the opening goal of the game in the 27thminute when Punjab was awarded a penalty corner as she faultlessly used her stick to send the ball in the nets.  In the closing minute of the first half, Gurjit Kaur scored a lovely field goal to ascend the score to 2-0. The entire second half of the match was completely dry as women from both the sides made desperate attempts to violate each other’s defence and find the nets.

Turning the tables in their favour, Jharkhand eves recorded their first win in the National Games as they defeated their opponent Uttar Pradesh 2-1 in the last game of the day. Converting a penalty corner into the first goal of the game, Etwari of Jharkhand opened the scoring account in the 13th minute. It was closely followed by a field goal from Pratibha Chaudhri of Uttar Pradesh who scored in the 18th minute to level the scores 1-1. With the equalizer, it became a lot more exciting to see who will finally take the lead in the game and eventually emerge as the victor. The second half saw several attempts from both the sides to score until it was Punam Madhuri who converted a penalty corner into a goal in the 40th minute, giving Jharkhand a lead of 2-1 which went on till the last minute as Jharkhand registered a comfortable win over Uttar Pradesh women.

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