Discarded India goalkeeper Baljit Singh stood out with a man-of-the-match performance as Indian Oil won the Coal India 116th All India Beighton Cup Hockey tournament after a 2-0 victory over ONGC in Kolkata on Friday.
In wilderness after a freak eye injury, Baljit, who replaced Vivek Chuhan in the second half, impressed the august gathering that included Sports Minister Ajay Maken, thwarting at least five ONGC attempts at goal.
Inspired by Baljit's show, Indian Oil took the lead when Affan Yousuf sounded the board in the 58th minute.
Bharat settled the issue three minutes later.
Baljit was omitted from the list of India probables for the Asian Champions Trophy because of poor vision in his right eye.
But the Punjab goalkeeper, who also impressed in the National Games in Ranchi earlier this year with a gold medal-winning show, said he is confident of a comeback.
"Despite suggestions from the coach (Michael Nobbs) to retire, I want to make a comeback. I want to prove once again with my performance. Hope they are watching," Baljit said after bagging Rs 5,000 for his man-of-the-match performance.
The title made Indian Oil richer by Rs 150,000 while the runners-up got Rs 100,000.
Impressed with Baljit's show, Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra also announced a cash award of Rs 25,000 for the Indian Oil goalkeeper.
Mitra also announced Rs 100,000 for the winners, and Rs 50,000 for the runners-up.