Gooncha 57th Senior Nehru Hockey: Clinical Railways Clobber Punjab & Sind Bank

There is something about Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) that has stood out in the domestic hockey circuit over the last few weeks – their ability to lift their game by several notches when up against the fancied sides. And on Wednesday, RSPB were surely slow off the blocks leaking two goals to Punjab & Sind Bank in the first two quarters but soon pressed the well-oiled button to not just overcome the Surjit Hockey Tournament runners-up Punjab & Sind Bank but handed them an ego-hurting 7-3 drubbing to make the right noises about their Pool B campaign in the Gooncha 57th Senior Nehru Hockey Tournament being played at the South-Central Railways Sports Complex in Hyderabad.

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Railway Sports Promotion Board, who had pipped Punjab & Sind Bank 3-1 and Indian Oil 3-0 in the finals to win the 38th Surjit Hockey Tourney and the 31st Lal Bahadur Shastri Tourney, had to quickly regroup after Innocent Munda and Aditya Singh sewed up a 2-0 lead for the bankmen. The resurgence of RSPB came to the fore as they scored thrice in a span of seven minutes to not just reduce the deficit but also levelled the issues and walk into the half-time break with a 3-2 lead. Mukul Sharma, Aditya Yadav and Pardeep Singh conjured the comeback story.

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RSPN did not relent in the second half and scored an early goal via Pardeep Singh before Prince tried to bring Punjab & Sind Bank 3-1 back into the contest with a third quarter strike. The railway literally knocked the stuffing out of the bankmen with three more goals to cap off an impressive 7-3 win.

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Defending champions Punjab National Bank did not have an ideal start to their campaign after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Army XI. The Armymen despite scoring an early goal ran out of steam in their second tie and went down 1-4 to Indian Oil in a Pool A clash.