Ranchi Rays beat Punjab Warriors to enter semis of Hero HIL 2015

The hosts Ranchi Rays edged past table toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors by 3-2 to become 2nd team to confirm their place in semi-finals of Hero Hockey India League 2015. It was an extraordinary contest between two top teams in front of jam-packed Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Morabadi, Ranchi.

Birendra Lakra and Mandeep Singh and Ranchi Rays team thanking the supporters at Ranchi during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Birendra Lakra and Mandeep Singh and Ranchi Rays team thanking the supporters at Ranchi during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Jaypee Punjab Warriors conceded an early goal in the 13th minute and the second goal in the 45th minute leaving them trailing the game 2-0. Jaypee Punjab Warriors finally made a come-back in the game by leveling the scores 2-2 in the fourth quarter, but wasting no time Ranchi Rays came back strong and scored the third goal and went on to win the game. Post the match, both Ranchi Rays and Jaypee Punjab Warriors are locked at 29 points at the points table. Continue reading →

Tough Match for Punjab Warriors as they face Ranchi Rays in Ranchi

Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who have already sealed their place in the Semi-Final of Hero Hockey India League 2015, will face Ranchi Rays at Ranchi tomorrow, February 10, 2015> This will be the first clash between the top two teams of the points’ table and a possible pre-match of the semi-final. Jaypee Punjab Warriors is leading the table with 28 points where as Ranchi Rays is at second place with 24 points.

Youngsters Sumit Toppo and Affan Yousuf in Jaypee Punjab Warriors' training session at Ranchi during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Youngsters Sumit Toppo and Affan Yousuf in Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ training session at Ranchi during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Ranchi Rays, who have remained unbeatable at their home ground with two draws and two wins, will face a tough challenge against the star-studded Jaypee Punjab Warriors who have specialised players in every department. Leading from the front is the top goal-scorer Sandeep Singh, who scored a hat-trick against the defending champions Delhi Waveriders in their previous match and very much specialised in penalty corners. The Barry Dancer boys will stick to their strategy of earning maximum penalty corners and leave it to Sandeep Singh to convert them. Ranchi Rays Head Coach Harendra Singh has to think out of the box to restrict Sandeep Singh from scoring goals in the penalty corners, otherwise they may have to see a disappointing score-line in the first half. Continue reading →

Jaypee Punjab Warriors Enter Semis in Style with 7-0 win over Delhi Waveriders

Last edition’s finalists, Jaypee Punjab Warriors scored 7 past the defending Champions Delhi Waveriders to be the first team to reach Semi Finals of 3rd Hero Hockey India League 2015 in style. The match saw second hattrick of the season as Indian drag flick specialist Sandeep Singh scored 3 goals for his team.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors stuck to the plan chalked out by Head Coach Barry Dancer, to start the game with speed rather than coming into form slowly and in the process allowing the opponents to score the initial goals. Following the strategy, Jaypee Punjab Warriors struck just ten minutes into the game and thereon there was no looking back as they rained goals on the defending Champions leaving them stunned and frustrated.

Sandeep Singh Jaypee Punjab Warriors celebrates one his goals during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Sandeep Singh Jaypee Punjab Warriors celebrates one his goals during Hero Hockey India League 2015

In the first quarter of the match, table-toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors started the match with their skilful domination and acute ball possession while keeping the visitors busy with their continuous attacks. In the tenth minute, Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to earn a crucial penalty corner where the teams’ deadly duo – Jamie Dwyer and Sandeep Singh – took their favourite positions. Among the world’s best drag-flickers, Australia’s Jamie injected the ball into the pack and Sandeep Singh did not waste a moment to hit the ball hard into the box, beating Delhi Waveriders’ defenders and goal-keeper Rassie Pieterse. The 1-0 lead boosted the morale of the team and they fiercely attacked the opponents’ to score more goals. Continue reading →

League Toppers Punjab Warriors to host Delhi Waveriders in Mohali

Marching ahead in the Hero Hockey India League 2015, table toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors and defending Delhi Waveriders will face each other in Mohali tomorrow. While Jaypee Punjab Warriors has to its credit four wins out of six matches played, Delhi Waveriders presently with two wins in its hand will be looking at escalating its spot in the points table. (Full Schedule, Points Table and Results here)

Jaypee Punjab Warriors Captain Jamie Dwyer at a practice session during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Jaypee Punjab Warriors Captain Jamie Dwyer at a practice session during Hero Hockey India League 2015

With an added advantage of playing on their home ground and winning the last match against Delhi Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors seem more confident to face the Delhi Waveriders outfit and would be aiming at another victory and going up the ladder. Both the teams recently faced each other in Delhi where Jaypee Punjab Warriors had a convincing win against Delhi Waveriders by 3-1. Continue reading →

Uttar Pradesh Wizards beat Jaypee Punjab Warriors by 2-1 in Lucknow

After a successful run of four wins and one draw, table-toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors tasted their first defeat, as Uttar Pradesh Wizards edged past them by 2-1 in 15th match of Hero Hockey India League 2015 at Dhyan Chand Sports College in Lucknow. It was VR Raghunath and Ramandeep Singh who stood tall and scored for their team whereas Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ captain Jamie Dwyer scored to reduce the deficit.

UP Wizards celebrate their goal during Hero Hockey India League 2015

UP Wizards celebrate Ramandeep’s goal against Jaypee Punjab Warriors during Hero Hockey India League 2015

In the first quarter, host team Uttar Pradesh Wizards outplayed the visitors with their spirited performance and attacking moves, which stunned the opponents’ camp. Seven minutes into the game, UP Wizards drew first blood when they counter-attacked on Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ half and earned a penalty corner. Penalty corner specialist VR Raghunath converted it with a well placed flick beating Jaap Stockmann to score the first goal of the match. With this early lead, the home team attacked more aggressively and maintained the pressure on Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Their aggression paid again when they scored their second goal in the 9th minute. During their counter charge, forward player Ramandeep Singh received the ball in the opponents D and without giving any time to react to the defenders and custodian Stockmann, he hit the ball straight on the target taking the score to 2-0. Continue reading →

Defeated by Ranchi Rays, UP Wizards face Punjab Warriors

Today, Ranchi Rays defeated Uttar Pradesh Wizards by 2-0, who will host Jaypee Punjab Warriors tomorrow at 1500 HRS in the third edition of Hero Hockey India League at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow. The win gave Ranchi Rays five points to take their tally to 14 points. They now share equal points with Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the pool standings.

Trent Mitton celebrating his goal with his Ranchi Rays team-mates during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Trent Mitton celebrating his goal with his Ranchi Rays team-mates during Hero Hockey India League 2015

Motivated with their victory in the last match played against Uttar Pradesh Wizards with a score of 3-2, Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be eyeing to bag their second consecutive win against the home team and further adding five points to its tally so as to retain its position in the points table. While the Jaypee Punjab Warriors has had a good run in the League till now, it aspires to keep the momentum running and will even be looking at going to the next level. Coached by Barry Dancer, the team will bring in the best skills of the trade not allowing the opponents to notch up from any of the scoring opportunities. On the other side, Coached by Roelant Oltmans, Uttar Pradesh Wizards is aiming to win the match against Punjab Warriors in order to make up for the previous loss. Continue reading →