Dabur Mumbai Magicians recorded their first win in the second edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL), beating debutants Kalinga Lancers 3-2 in an entertaining league match at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai today.
It took Dabur Mumbai Magicians nine games to register their first victory in the league, while for Kalinga Lancers it was a disappointing end to their maiden campaign in the six-team tournament.
Dabur Mumbai Magicians opened the scoring 30 seconds from the first quarter through captain Glenn Turner (17th minute), who converted a half chance into goal from a rebound.
Dabur Mumbai Magicians kept up the pressure on Kalinga Lancers goal and earned three penalty corners in the second quarter, the last of which was converted by Mark Gleghorne in the 33rd minute as the hosts enjoyed 2-0 lead at halftime.
Dabur Mumbai Magicians continued on the same breathe after the lemon break and secured another penalty corner but the wasted the opportunity.
Kalinga Lancers reduced the margin in the 43rd minute through Mohd Nizammuddin’s fine field goal.
Dabur Mumbai Magicians restored their two goal lead in the 57th minute when Ravipal Singh scooped the ball into Kalinga Lancers goal after being fed by Sarvanjit Singh.
Kalinga Lancers scored their second goal a minute later through Lucas Villa’s (58th minute) slap deflection from top of D.
Kalinga Lancers, thereafter went all out in search of the equalizer but an alert David Harte in Dabur Mumbai Magicians goal denied them on at least three to four occasions in the final few minutes of the game to keep Dabur Mumbai Magicians slender lead intact and hand the home team their maiden win this year.
It was Kalinga Lancers final game in HHIL 2014 as they rounded off the campaign with 17 points from 10 games, which includes two victories, seven losses and one draw.
Dabur Mumbai Magicians’ pocketed their first five points of the season and took their tally to 13 points from nine games.
Hero Goal of the match winner – Mohd Nizamuddin
YES Bank Garv Award winner – Glenn Turner
Man of the Match – Glenn Turner
Terry Walsh, Coach of Kalinga Lancers said, “We have developed as a formidable team and evolved. We have a lot of developing players hence one can see lot of variation in the performance. Most players have shown competitiveness and can be groomed further. I am sure HIL will grow even bigger in the next season and we will come back as a much stronger force.”
Prabodh Tirkey, Captain of Kalinga Lancers said, “We really enjoyed playing hockey during the tournament. There were many learnings for each one of us. As a team we have improved tremendously and it is evident in our results which have only grown better especially after the third match. I thank the crowd which supported us at every city.”
M K Kaushik, Coach, Dabur Mumbai Magicians said, “We wanted good results and we wanted to dominate the ball. There were nervous moments towards the end but we defended well and are returning with a good victory. We played attacking hockey today though our defence could have been little stronger.”
Glenn Turner, Captain, Dabur Mumbai Magicians said, “Winning is always a good feeling. The boys deserved it completely. We took all the chances we got. It is a team effort. Now we are all geared up for the next game. Every year we see good and young talent coming up from the competition. The young strikers in our team hs really impressed me. If groomed well, they can be future superstars of India. I am also happy to have given a win back to the crowd here which has been so supportive.”
Dabur Mumbai Magicians will draw curtains to their campaign this year against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in Lucknow on February 18.