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Army wins Murugappa hockey

April 24, 2005 19:58 IST

Substitute goalkeeper Bikrant Tete brought off a fine save in 'sudden death' to help Army XI beat Tamil Nadu in the final and clinch the Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament in Chennai on Sunday.

The Army side won a cliff-hanger 7-6 and pocketed Rs 130,000. Tamil Nadu collected Rs 80,000.

Tamil Nadu goalkeeper Aravind and left-winger Raja were adjudged best goalkeeper and most promising player of the tournament.

The teams were locked 1-1 after regulation and extra-time.

The tie-breaker also ended with the teams tied 4-4.

In sudden-death, Tete, who replaced K N Palaksha for the tie-breaker, came up with a strong save, deflecting Ramesh Babu's attempt from the spot, after Army's Mahadik had made the score 6-5.

It was a creditable victory for the Armymen, who were surprised by Border Security Force with a last minute goal in the final of the Beighton Cup in Kolkata earlier this month.

Army's Olympian Ignace Tirkey was adjudged man of the final.

The Army players displayed good coordination from the beginning and held an edge throughout the match which was indicative from their attacking game. But they failed to score off three penalty-corners in the first 13 minutes.

In fact, they had seven penalty-corners but were unable to convert any of them. However, true to the run of play, they went into the lead in the 38th minute through Ajay Kumar Marhi. But three minutes later Tamil Nadu restored parity, making good use of their first corner, through captain Dinesh Nayak.

In the tie-breaker, Tamil Nadu's Muthukumar, Muthuselvan and Ramesh Babu and Army's Sureshkumar, Mahadik and Ignace Tirkey were successful.

Kannan and Alfred Asis (TN) and Murmur and Gopal Singh messed up their tries. The teams were level at 3-3.

In sudden-death, the scores were level 5-5 after Suresh Kumar and Tirkey for Army and Muthukumar and Muthuselvan, for TN, scored.

Then, after Mahadik put his team into the lead (6-5), Tete dived low to his right to deflect Ramesh Babu's push to signal Army's victory, much to the jubilation of fans and families of various Service organisations in the city.

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