The first ever Fr. Vincent Ferrer All India Invitation Hockey Academies Championship came to an end here in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV). The championship was organised by Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) in partnership with Hockey Anantapur. The championship was held over six days beginning on 29th May 2017 and for the first time a hockey championship in Anantapur was presided by Hockey India officials. 11 Hockey Academies from various regions of India participated in this All India Hockey Academies Championship for (U-21).
11 teams were divided into four pools and each team had to play once against each other in their pool during the group stages. The usual suspects who performed well in the group stages were there in the semi-finals. TN Hockey Academy (Chennai), Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur), One Thousand Hockey Legs (Delhi) and Rural Development Trust(RDT) Hockey Academy (Anantapur) were the teams in the semis. TN Hockey Academy knocked out Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur) to seal their spot in the finals.And Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur) were placed third in the championship after playing against One Thousand Hockey Legs (Delhi) who looked fiercely in the beginning.
The final match between TN Hockey Academy and RDT Hockey Academy was going toe-to-toe with equal chances given the fact that both had shown good maneuvering and tactical skills throughout the championship. Both teams were good at defense which kept the score board idle.
Eventually, in the 25th minute with Tamil Nadu giving away a penalty corner, Sandeep Kumar of the RDT Hockey Academy made use of the opportunity and scored a goal to break the deadlock. The second goal wasn’t far behind too, Charan Kumar scored a field goal in the 27th minute.
It was turning out to be an unexpected one sided match as the ball possession was mostly with RDT and they limited the TN Hockey Academy team to defense before the halftime. Few minutes into the second half saw one more goal from Sandeep Kumar helping RDT Hockey Academy to gain a comfortable lead of 3-0.
With the blow of the final whistle, there was a loud cheer from the home crowd and supporters ran towards the winning team with RDT Hockey Academy winning the maiden Fr. Vincent Ferrer Hockey Academies Championship 2017. The player of the match for all matches were felicitated with hockey sticks.
BJ Kariappa, the Hockey India Manager High Performance (South India) who was in Anantapur Sports Academy said that the championship was a good opportunity for the players to showcase their skills and the coaches to see the growth in their players. He also felt that there was a great potential in the players and if they continue with the same spirit, they could surely excel at national and international level.