39th Surjit Hockey Tournament: Talwinder Singh-powered Hat-Trick Propels Indian Oil into Final Date against Railways
It was billed as a mouth-watering semifinal match but Indian Oil were in no mood to settle for any kind of a down-to-the-wire contest as they knocked the stuffing out of Punjab National Bank Delhi to turn the semifinal clash into a no-contest, thrashing the bankmen 5-0 to romp into the final of the 39th Indian Oil Servo Surjit Hockey Tournament at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jallandhar.
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Powered by a superb hat-trick by former international Talwinder Singh and a brace from former Indian drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh, the oilmen clearly made a statement of sorts ahead of the final against reigning champions Indian Railways, who nosed out Punjab & Sind Bank by the odd goal in three in what was a repeat of last year’s final where the Railmen won 3-1.
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Of course, Indian Oil would know that Indian Railways would hold the pyschological advantage having beaten them 2-1 in the Pool stage but the final is a new day and given the form Indian Oil is in, it would take a big effort from the Railmen to upset their applecart.
Indian Oil had last won the Surjit Hockey Tourney in 2014 when they prevailed over Punjab & Sind Bank – they have have won it four times (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014) – they have been runners-up on seven occasions as well (2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019). Indian Railways have won this tournament twice in 2015 and 2021.