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Dhanraj gives Indian Airlines Beighton Cup
April 10, 2007 19:22 IST
Star-studded Indian Airlines broke a 21-year-old jinx and lifted the Oil India 112th Beighton Cup hockey tournament with a 1-0 victory over
Border Security Force, Jalandhar, in Kolkata, on Tuesday.
Veteran campaigner Dhanraj Pillay scored the all-important goal a minute from half-time to propel Indian Airlines to the title, which they won way back in 1985.
Putting up a much-improved performance, Indian Airlines controlled the proceedings for the greater part of the 70 minutes, playing a fast well-coordinated passing game that the paramilitary side failed to match.
However, BSF also had their moments of ascendancy, especially in the second session, when they pressed hard, but failed to penetrate deep into the rival defence.
Playing before a sizeable crowd at the Mohun Bagan ground, Pillay scored in the 34th minute. The former India ace latched on to a loose ball on top of the striking circle and kept his composure to push home, giving no chance to rival goalkeeper K M Subbaiah.
Besides bagging the winner's cheque of Rs one lakh, it was also sweet revenge for Airlines, who had gone down 1-3 to BSF in a quarter-final group league match.
The paramilitary side, which had emerged champions in the blue riband event of Indian hockey on half a dozen occasions in the past, had to rest content with the runners-up prize of Rs 50,000.