Ranchi Rhinos Stun Delhi Waveriders to Clinch Hero Hockey India League Trophy

Ranchi, 10 February 2013: Ranchi Rhinos defeated Delhi Waveriders 2-1 in a cracker of a game to win the first ever Hero Hockey India League, earlier in the day Uttar Pradesh Wizards came from behind (0-3) to beat (4-3) Jaypee Punjab Warriors to finish third, at Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on Sunday.

The Waveriders went ahead with a fine strike by Simon Child, Austin Smith drew the hosts level through a drag flick on a PC with a little bit of variation. And in the final quarter, Manpreet Singh’s strike on PC sealed the title for the hosts, who had 12th man with them i.e. a packed capacity crowd.

Hockey India League 2013 Awards:

WINNERS (Prize Money Rs 2,50,00,000/-): Ranchi Rhinos
RUNNERS-UP (Prize Money: Rs 1,25,00,000/-): Delhi Waveriders
Third Place (Prize Money: Rs 75,00,000/-): Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Fair-Play Award: Ranchi Rhinos

Hero Player of the Tournament ( Rs 25,00,000/-): Sardar Singh
‘Ponty Chadha Trophy’ for Upcoming Player of the Tournament ( Rs 20,00,000/-): Mandeep Singh

‘Airtel Award’ for Most Goals in the Tournament ( Rs 10,00,000/-): Delhi Waveriders

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Raghunath Single Handedly Won HIL Bronze for Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Ranchi, 10 February 2013: Four goals, including a golden goal from skipper Raghunath right in the last minute of extra time earned Uttar Pradesh Wizards a 4-3 win over Jaypee Punjab Warriors in an absolute thriller of a third place play-off game of the Hero Hockey India League at Birsa Munda Astroturf Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

V R Raghunath won bronze for Uttar Pradesh Wizards

V R Raghunath won bronze for Uttar Pradesh Wizards

Trailing 0-3 at one stage, Wizards came back with Raghunath scoring a hat-trick, all through drag flicks, to force and extra time. Raghunath then scored his fourth from another drag flick to ensure that Wizards got the bronze medal, and earned prize money of Rs 75 lakhs.

Jaypee Punjab Warriors completely dominated the first quarter. They showed a lot of intensity, and aggression, and were rewarded for it with a couple of goals. Gurmail Singh entered the Wizards’ D, and put the ball on Nithin’s leg to earn Warriors their first penalty corner. Mark Knowles took the drag flick, and fired the ball low to the right of diving Bazeley. The ball beat Bazeley for pace and angle and entered the net to give Warriors the lead. Continue reading →

Warriors Vs Wizards in 3rd Place Play off of HIL

Ranchi, 10 February 2013: Jaypee Punjab Warriors would seek to set the record straight and finish on third spot in the Hero Hockey India League when they take on Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the play off at the Birsa Munda Astroturf Hockey Stadium on Sunday. In the semi-finals Warriors were outplayed by Delhi Waveriders, while Wizards were defeated by Ranchi Rhinos.

Warriors vs Wizards in HIL 3rd Place Play off

The Wizards had peeped the Warriors to the third spot in league standings on the last day of the round-robin stage by defeating standings topper and tournament favorites Delhi Waveriders, thereby setting a steep task for the Barry Dancer coached side, of overpowering the Waveriders in the semi-final encounter. Continue reading →

Mandeep Singh Clinches Victory from Wizards as Ranchi Rhinos reach Hero HIL 2013 Final

Ranchi, 9 February 2013: Ranchi Rhinos made sure that they play in the first ever Hero Hockey India League final in front of home crowd, as they beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 4-2 in the semi-final at Birsa Munda Astroturf Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

Mandeep Singh scoring 1st goal of the day as Ashley Jackson support and George Bazeley tries to catch on

Mandeep Singh scoring 1st goal of the day as Ashley Jackson support and George Bazeley tries to catch on

A brace each from Mandeep Singh and Nick Wilson was good enough to see the hosts through. For wizards, Nithin Thimmiah scored both the goals.

“It was anybody’s game at 2-2, but the Rhinos utilised their chances better. Our strength is equal but today was not our day. Our first two goals were big disappointments. But, we will lift our game and raise our game for tomorrow’s match,” Wizards’ skipper Raghunath said. Continue reading →

Rhinos vs Wizards and Waveriders vs Warriors in Semis of HIL

The Hero Hockey India League is approaching towards its business end with semi-finals (Ranchi Rhinos vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Delhi Waveriders vs Punjab Warriors) and finals (to be decided after semis) scheduled this weekend (9th-10th February 2013) at Astroturf Stadium in Ranchi.

Hockey India League Points Table after the completion of league stage matches

Hockey India League Points Table after the completion of league stage matches

The five team tournament has seen 30 round-robin matches to eliminate Ric Charlesworth coached Mumbai Magicians, who could just manage to win only match of their 12 league matches. Rest of the teams have played each other thrice with mixed results. Lucknow based Wizards have been most unpredictable in the tournament and are the only team who defeated the table toppers Delhi Waveriders in the league stage and settled the scores with 1 draw, 1 win and 1 loss against the title favorites and also only to get defeated by eliminated side Magicians.

The unpredictable Wizards, who are coached by Roelant Oltmans, will face the Rhinos coached by Gregg Clark, while Barry Dancer’s Warriors will be facing Dr AK Bansal’s Waveriders in the semi finals. As the league stage progressed towards the end, teams looked better in their structure of play and on-field communications, it will be interesting to see how these teams coached in four different styles will play tactically in the knock out stage of the tournament.

Preview Semi 1: Ranchi Rhinos begin favourites against UP Wizards on home turf Continue reading →

Wizards beat Waveriders 4-1 to end Delhi’s Unbeaten in HIL and Finish 3rd in Table

New Delhi, 07 February 2013: Uttar Pradesh Wizards finished their league engagements in the Hero Hockey India League on a high, beating league toppers Delhi Waveriders 4-1 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.

Leandro Negre (FIH President)

Leandro Negre (FIH President) after introdution before Delhi vs UP match

By handing Waveriders their first defeat of the tournament, Wizards ensured that they would avoid AK Bansal’s boys in the semis. Wizards finished third in the league, and would take on second placed Ranchi Rhinos in the semis. Waveriders would face fourth placed Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the other semi-final.

It turned out to be one of the rare matches in the tournament where there were no goals scored in the first half. However, the game was not dull by any means in the first two quarters. Waveriders’ skipper Sardar Singh made some good moves from the midfield, and made an excellent pass to Akashdeep Singh in the second quarter, although Akashdeep was unable to stop the ball. Continue reading →