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Air India down Indian Oil in Beighton final

Source: PTI
December 15, 2010 18:37 IST

Star-studded Air India lifted the 115th edition of the Beighton Cup hockey tournament scoring a 2-1 win over defending champions Indian Oil at the Sports Authority of India artificial turf in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Air India scored both the goals in the first-half through Birendra Lakra (12th minute) and Vikram Pillay (34th).

Indian Oil, however, fought back after the change of ends and reduced the margin through V R Raghunath (48th minute) but the all-important equaliser eluded them.

The defending champions began on an attacking note with veteran India forward Prabhjot Singh looking for early inroads.

Indian Oil were awarded two penalty-corners early into the match, in the fourth and eighth minute, and Prabhjot almost converted the second one but for some brilliant work by Air India custodian Adrian D'Souza.

Boasting of four players from the Asian Games squad in Vikram Pillay, Arjun Halappa, Gurbaj Singh and Prabhod Tirkey -- who missed the final due to injury -- Air India drew first blood when Lakra slammed home in the 12th minute.

Before Indian Oil could settle down, the Dhanraj Pillay-coached side doubled the lead through Vikram, who was adjudged man-of-the-tournament.

In an intense second-half, Indian Oil reduced the margin after Raghunath converted a penalty-corner in the 48th minute.

Indian Oil almost equalised in the 61st minute from a penalty-corner but Prabhjot found the right post much to the relief of Air India.

Earlier, last year's runners-up South Central Railway settled for third place, defeating Punjab Sports Club 5-1.

Amit Srivas (49th, 53rd), Janardhan Gupta (32nd), Mayank James (64th) and B Horo (69th) scored for South Central Railway. Pawan Bassi scored the solitary goal for the Punjab outfit.

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