Hockey: Indian Oil, PSB enter Gold Cup final

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MUMBAI, March 12 (PTI): Reigning champions Indian Oil from Bengaluru and Punjab and Sind Bank from Jalandhar entered the final of the 53rd Bombay Gold Cup hockey championship on Tuesday in contrasting fashion.

Indian Oil outclassed a depleted Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai, 7-2 after leading 3-1 at half time at the MHAL-Mahindra Stadium here.

Later, the Punjab bankmen edged out South Central Railway 2-1 to earn a shot on Wednesday in the title clash against Indian Oil.

BPCL clearly missed four key players who had helped them make the last four by playing in the league phase as they all had departed after being summoned on Sunday by Hockey India for the national juniors’ camp that started in Bengaluru on March 11.

In their absence, BPCL were no match for the star packed Indian Oil with an array of former internationals.

Indian Oil rode roughshod over their rivals and got their goals through veteran Deepak Thakur, who struck twice, Sunil Yadav, Armaan Qureshi, Talwinder Singh, Mohammad Raheel and Nilam Sanjay Xess.

Darshan Gawkar scored both the goals for the losers.

In the second semi final, SCR clearly missed their drags flicker Pratap Lakra who had scored a hat trick against UP XI in the semis.

He too had to leave for Bengaluru to join the 21-day national juniors’ camp and SCR failed to convert even one out of the seven penalty corners earned.

PSB were clearly the better team on the day and scored in the first and last quarters through Ranjot Singh and Navdeep Singh.

SCR’s lone strike came at the fag end of the game from Sandeep Kumar Singh.

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