Ranchi: Delhi Waveriders got the better of Ranchi Rays 2-0 to finish third, while Jaypee Punjab Warriors beat Kalinga Lancers 6-1 to bag the title in the 4th Coal India Hockey India League, which concluded at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on Sunday.
The match started with Delhi Waveriders pressing hard to score, but the well prepared defenders from Ranchi Rays ensured that the former are unsuccessful in converting any opportunities. Though Delhi Waveriders ensured higher ball possession during the first quarter of the match ensuring higher circle penetrations but they could not capitalise on any opportunity that came their way.
Ranchi Rays made a few good moves on the counter but all their attempts to score were foiled by Delhi Waveriders. The first quarter came to an end with the score boarding reading 0-0. The second quarter started with Waveriders continuing their attacking game. Delhi Waveriders were finally able to break the deadlock with a field goal from Mandeep Singh on the 18th minute taking a crucial 2-0 lead in the game. Delhi dominated the ball possession for most of the quarter there after not giving any space to Ranchi Rays attacking moves. The second quarter ended with Delhi Waveriders still leading 2-0.
The third quarter started with Ranchi Rays trying hard to establish equilibrium in the match. Ranchi launched successive attacks on Delhi Waveriders but were unsuccessful in moving past their rock solid defence line. The end moments of the third quarter saw some good attacking moves by Delhi Waveriders but they couldn’t hold on their momentum as the penultimate quarter came to an end with the score board still at 2-0 in Delhi Waveriders favour.
The final quarter of the match saw the Ranchi Rays making desperate attempts to equalise but Delhi Waveriders were in no mood to allow the Ranchi forwards to convert any opportunities into a goal. Delhi Waveriders strong midfield put Ranchi Rays on the back foot and even though they made a few entries into the Delhi Waveriders circle the excellent saves from Delhi goalkeeper Devon Manchester ensured Ranchi could not convert any into a goal. The match ended with Delhi Waveriders walking away with the third position defeating Ranchi Rays 2-0 in the third place playoff.
Delhi Waveriders who finished at the third place in the 4th Coal India Hockey India League received a cheque for INR 75 Lakhs from Mr. Rajindra Singh, Treasurer, Hockey India. The Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 was given to Rupinder Pal Singh from Delhi Waveriders. The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was awarded to Mandeep Singh of Delhi Waveriders by Mr. Shekhar Saran, CMD, CMPDIL. The Hero Emerging Player of the Match award of INR 25,000 was awarded to Mandeep Singh from Delhi Waveriders by Mr. Leandro Negre, President, FIH, while The Most Entertaining Player of the Match award went to Simranjeet Singh from Ranchi Rays.
The six team annual franchise based hockey league, the flagship event of Hockey India - the apex body governing the sport in the country and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is being played across six venues in India from 18th January - 21st February 2016.