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Central hit Chandigarh XI for a six

April 25, 2005 22:25 IST

Local outfit Central Railway drilled holes in a jittery Chandigarh XI defence at will to record a thumping 6-1 victory in a first round clash in the 43rd Bombay Gold Cup Hockey tournament, which commenced on Monday.

Central, who play in the Super League and have recently recruited half a dozen talented and skilful youngsters, ran circles around the Chandigarh side's defence to run up a 3-1 lead at half-time before completing the tennis-score verdict.

Rajeev Bhatkar, who showed fine opportunism inside the striking circle, scored Central's last two goals in the space of 11 minutes late in the second half.

The winners had struck earlier through gangling medio Avesh Ansari (2nd minute), playmaker Nimit Lal (28th), full back Nilesh Mane (32nd) and frontliner Shamim Baig (47th).

All the Railwaymen's goals, barring their second and third which came off penalty-corners, were fine field efforts.

It was not as if Chandigarh did not have their say in the match. The northern outfit, whose only goal was in the 12th minute by medio Kulwinder Singh off their second penalty-corner, frittered away seven other short corner awards.

Central, who forced four set-pieces in the opening half, now run into tough customers Army XI, winners of last week's Murugappa Gold Cup in Chennai and runners-up in Kolkata's Beighton Cup, in the second round.

In two other opening round matches on the first day, Indian Navy routed Bombay Hockey Association Colts 6-1 (half-time 3-1) in an all-Mumbai clash while Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (Mumbai) rallied from a 0-2 deficit to put it across Maharashtra XI from Pune 4-2.

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