Mumbai : Perseverance and hard work paid rich dividends for Hockey Dadar as they were crowned champions of the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana 36th Invitation Rink Hockey Tournament – 2016, for the Late Victor D’Mello Memorial Trophy. In a pulsating and tense men’s final, Hockey Dadar in remarkable fashion came from behind a 0-3 deficit to overcome Mumbai Customs 6-5 via the sudden death tie-breaker, at the Gymkhana’s floodlit tennis courts. The match ended in a 3-3 draw and after the set of three-penalty strokes tie-breaker, the scores were still tied at 5-all, before the outcome was settled in the sudden death.
Custom’s ace sharpshooter Jayesh Jadhav notched up a fine hat-trick, scoring twice in the first period and early in the second to give his team a dream 3-0 cushion. But, the Dadar side seemed to have other ideas and crashed Customs dream as they meticulously clawed back into the match, with Vikram Singh converting two penalty strokes and later Snedden’s firm forward push into the circle was neatly deflected into the goal by young Mosses Pullanthara to level scores at 3-all and force the tie-breaker. The 20-year-old Mosses, was later declared ‘Player-of-the-tournament’.
In the penalty strokes duel, Vikram failed to score from the first try for Dadar, but Sameer Coutinho and Mosses succeeded in scoring from the next two. Customs also managed to convert only two strokes, through Jayesh and Stanley Fernandes while Joshua Vessaokar failed to convert. In the sudden death, Jayesh’s push was brilliantly saved by Dadar goalkeeper Ankit before Sameer went on to beat Customs goalkeeper Wren D’Abreo to clinch victory for his team.
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, Bombay Republicans defeated Freunds SC ‘A’ 6-2 to emerge champions. Anupa Barla hammered in five goals and Ashima Kishpotta got one for Republicans, while Freunds scored through Ruqqaiya Shaikh and Bhgyashree Agarwal. Ruqqaiya was later adjudged as the ‘Player-of-the-tournament’.
Hockey Dadar received the Late Victor D’Mello Memorial Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 40,000 from Chief Guest, Dhanraj Pillay, a four-time hockey Olympian and former India captain. Customs were presented with the runners-up trophy and a cash award of Rs 20,000. Bombay Republicans got Rs 20,000 for their winning efforts and Freunds received a cash prize of Rs 10,000.