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Haryana to play Railways in women’s national hockey final


Sonepat: Hosts Haryana will clash with Railways in the final of the Senior National Women’s Hockey Championship at Motilal Nehru Sports School here Sunday.

In the semi-finals Saturday, Railways routed Punjab 9-0 while Haryana beat Orissa 3-0.

Chanchan Devi Thokchom drew first blood for the Railways in the 2nd minute when her deflection from Deepika Thakur’s cross went past Punjab goalkeeper Gursharan Kaur.

Jasjeet Kaur Handa scored the second goal from a penalty corner in the 7th minute while captain Saba Anjum struck five minutes later to open the floodgates for the Railways.

Recent recruit, teenage striker Rani Rampal combined with Poonam Rani in the 25th minute to increase the lead to 4-0 while defender Joydeep Kaur sounded the boards from another penalty corner in the 31st minute to establish a commanding lead at half time.

Punjab had no answer to the Railway onslaughts in the second half and they conceded four more goals.

Jasjeet struck her second goal firing home after being set up by Mukta Barla in the 45th minute. This was followed by Joydeep sinking another penalty corner past the hapless Gursharan Kaur in the 53rd minute.

Rani recorded a brace in the 63rd minute after wrong footing a couple of Punjab defenders, while Poonam Rani completed the tally two minutes from the final whistle.

In the second semi-final, the fancied Haryana forwards were troubled by the tenacious and alert Orissa defenders before they could overcome their rivals with three strikes late in the match.

Goalkeeper Sumanti Toppo, defenders Sarojini Ekka, Divya Kerketta and Dulari Kandulna foiled many attempts from skipper Mamta Kharab, Surinder Kaur and Monika Dahiya in the goalless first half.

Haryana finally broke the ice in the 57th minute when winger Meenakshi deflected in a penalty corner much to the relief of the home crowd.

This goal appeared to break Orissa’s spirit as Haryana produced flair and fluency in their attacks to score two more goals.

Surinder Kaur neatly pushed past Toppo from a penalty corner to increase the score three minutes later while full back Jaspreet Kaur slotted home from a 68th minute penalty stroke to give Haryana victory.