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Warriors relegated to Tier II
January 29, 2006 09:54 IST
In a high voltage match that did ended with a controversy raised by the losing team, who staged a brief walkout, Chandigarh Dynamos earned a berth in the finals as they beat Maratha Warriors 3-1 in their last league match of the Tier I of the Premier Hockey League played in Chandigarh on Saturday.
The Warriors, who are lying at the bottom of the table with eight points from eight matches, have been relegated to the Tier-II,
The Dynamos are now sitting pretty at top of the table with 14 points. On Sunday, Bangalore Lions (12 points) and Sher-e-Jalandhar (10 points) will be playing their last league game of Tier-I.
The star for the Dynamos was their ace striker Deepak Thakur, who first earned a lead for his team by scoring in the 13th minute of the third quarter and was then instrumental in the third goal when he did all the hard work enabling the Dynamos Pakistani import Mudassar Ali Khan to take a clean hit with a near empty post to aim at.
Earlier, Thakur played some terrific presence of mind when he managed to control the ball and squeeze it between the legs of the Warriors goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza.
Under pressure after the Warriors took an early lead when Vijay Alfohnso scored early on in the first quarter, the equalizer came from Inderjit Chadha of the Dyanmos in the 12th minute of the second quarter.
Down by 1-2 goals and the game having entered the fourth and the last quarter, the Warriors star player Dhanraj Pillay fiercely objected with umpire Raghu Prasad for disallowing a goal in the fourth minute of the quarter when he had got it freed from the clutches of the goalkeeper and the ball had just managed to cross the goaline.
Prasad, however, was adamant that he had called a foul even before the ball had faintly crossed the goaline. Prasad maintained that the ball had been carried as it had hit the foot of Dynamos captain Sukhbir Gill and a penalty corner had already been awarded.
Sure that the ball had crossed before the foul had been called, Pillay openly beat his chest challenging the umpire and demanding that a third umpire decision be taken, which was not done eventually. Pillay, after a heated exchange, asked his teammates to come off the field and the game had to be halted for nearly eight minutes as the Warriors staged a temporary walkout.
The tournament director had to intervene in the matter and play resumed after a while as he talked to both the umpires. The Warriors' players took the field minus Pillay.
Soon after the play resumed, the Warriors were awarded three penalty corners in succession, none of which they could convert.
The Warriors earned a total of five penalty corners and failed to convert one as against just one earned by their opponents, which was also not converted.