Mumbai : Goalkeeper Shamsher Singh produced a lion-hearted display, making a number of brilliant saves to ensure his team Punjab National Bank share hounours with fancied Indian Oil in a creditable 3-3 draw in a tight Super Division match of the MHAL (Mumbai Hockey Association Limited) League-2014, jointly sponsored by PMC Bank, Bank of India and Union Bank, and played at the MHAL Stadium, Churchgate, here, on Wednesday evening. The scores were tied 1-all at the end of the first half.
The PNB custodian Shamsher stood tall under the bar and showed silver-quick reflexes and agility as he blocked attempts from Indian Oil sharp-shooters Deepak Thakur, Roshan Minz and drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh to restrict them to just three goals. Shamsher for his brave efforts was obviously the right choice for the ‘Man-of-the-match’ award. For the record, Indian Oil got their goals through Olympians Prabhjot Singh and Deepak Thakur, both through field efforts and a penalty corner conversion by full back Sunil Yadav.
Punjab National Bank scored from two penalty corners through Jitender Saroha and Lakhwinder Singh and a field goal by Bruno Lugon.
Meanwhile, former champions Air India trailing 1-3 scored twice in the final stages of the match to force a 3-3 with Western Railway and salvage a point. Air India struck first from a good move in the 12th minute. Girish Pimpale with a long hit found Arjun Halappa on the right side of Western striking circle.
The latter trapped the ball and pushed across for an unmarked Vikram Pillay who was left with the simple task of tapping home from close.
However, Western immediately hit back when penalty corner specialist Amit Rohidass scored with a firm drag-flick which deflected into goal after taking a deflection from goalkeeper Sourabh Singh’s pads in the 15th minute.
Six minutes later Rajin Kandulina scored with an angular hit from the right to give Western a 2-1 half-time lead. After switching ends, the railwaymen continued to push forward and managed to increase the lead when Jaykaran made up for his earlier miss to net the third goal in the 58th minute.
Later Air India did well to fight back and managed to reduce the deficit through their veteran forward Sameer Dad in the 59th minute before Gaganpreet Singh successfully converted a late penalty corner in the 68th minute to put the airmen on level terms.