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Star-studded BPCL rout CAG to retain Gold Cup hockey title

Mumbai :Star-studded Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) carried too big an armoury for first-time finalists Comptroller and Audit General’s liking and emerged 6-1 winners in the summit contest to retain the Bombay Gold Cup hockey title for the second year running today.

BPCL, from Bengaluru, virtually sewed up the match in the first half itself by taking a commanding 3-0 lead and piled on the agony for their hapless rivals from Delhi in the second half to keep the title which they won last year by beating Indian Oil.

With four current India internationals in their ranks, including the mercurial frontliner S V Sunil, and a host of ex-national players, BPCL – playing their fifth final in ten years – overwhelmed CAG to win the top prize of Rs 3 lakh.

It was Sunil who opened the goal-spree for the champions with a third-minute goal before his India teammates Manpreet Singh and Amir Khan, along with Jarnail Singh and Somanna Pradhan gave them a 5-0 lead by the 49th minute of play.

CAG got a consolation goal two minutes after Pradhan’s through Abhishek Singh but BPCL were not satisfied with their lead and pumped in another goal through former India player Ravi Pal four minutes from the end to complete the rout.

All the goals in the game were from the field though BPCL secured four penalty corners in all while CAG, who received Rs 1.5 lakh, got none.

An unmarked Sunil started the rout when he slotted home a shot off a centre from the left byline sent by Jarnail Singh.

Seven minutes later CAG full back Chandan Singh, who was the pick of the losers’ lot with some fine interceptions, made a goalline save.

But in the 11th minute the Delhi side’s citadel fell when Manpreet beat rival custodian Harjit Singh with a fierce reverse hit.

Jarnail helped BPCL cross over with a 3-0 lead by deflecting in a top-of-circle pass from Amir Khan who scored the fourth with a reverse hit after Sunil weaved his way in.

A long diagonal from Gurpreet was pushed home by Somanna to make it 5-0 before Abhishek got the lone goal for CAG off a pass from international Nitin Thimmaiah.