Mumbai : Cathedral & John Connon, Mumbai halted Barnes to enter the basketball final, in the 28th All Maharashtra Anglo-Indian Schools in India football and basketball tournament, at the Barnes School & Junior College, Devlali, on Saturday.
Cathedral overcame local favourites Barnes 38-30 in the semi-finals after enduring a stiff challenge in the second half. Winners in the last two editions, St. Mary’s, Pune remained one win away from completing a hat-trick when they halted Bishop’s, Camp (Pune) with a 64-48 win in the other semi-final.
Spearheaded by Anjali Narain and Sanya Runwal, Cathedral took charge from the start as they raced to a 14-4 half-time lead. Barnes, who demonstrated they were no pushovers with a stunning come-from-behind win over Bombay Scottish, Mahim in the previous game in the league, raised hopes of a recovery with a second-half surge but Cathedral were rewarded for accuracy.
Defending champions Barnes ‘A’ and last year’s runners-up Bishop’s, Camp registered convincing semi-final wins to set up a repeat football championship round clash. Twelve-time winners Barnes tamed Christ Church, Mumbai 4-0, while Bishop’s, Camp scored once in each half to prevail over Cathedral 2-0.
Bishop’s, Camp controlled the match from the start and initiated regular raids to keep the rival defence busy as Cathedral goalkeeper Shaan Mehta effected a brilliant save off a powerful Vikrant Kshirsagar left-footer from close following an impressive through pass down the middle that split the defence.
Cathedral struggled to break through with the lanky Raunaq Banijwadkar standing like a rock in the Camp defence with only Sanay Doshi testing the Pune side with a powerful free-kick from just outside the box that was brilliantly saved by a diving Camp goalkeeper Rajat Kirloskar.
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