Mumbai: Sixty-year-old grandmother Ragini Dere of BMC went down fighting in an exciting women’s first round, in the Bombay YMCA District Ranking Carrom Tournament on Tuesday.The deputy head mistress at Tardeo Municipal Marathi Pathshala had hoped to present herself with a surprise gift when she celebrated her milestone birthday. But there was some solace when she lost a tight contest 1-25, 25-16, 6-25 to Sara Shaikh after snatching the second game to force the decider in the best-of-three contest.

“I missed simple shots that cost me the match,” explained the mother of three daughters. “In carrom, to be good, you need to practice, practice, practice. But credit to my opponent for capitalizing on my errors. Besides, her accuracy was good.”

“Among my daughters, the eldest Kavita is a good player and my sparring partner. But, there’s little time to practice these days due to family chores and other responsibilities,” said Dere, who has a board at home in Tardeo.Southpaw Dere is a familiar figure on the carrom circuit, and a popular one at that, given her affable and sporting nature.

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