MP trounce Maharashtra to clinch a double hockey crown

Mumbai: Madhya Pradesh clinched a double crown in the 3rd West Zone Hockey India Sub-Junior (U-17) National Championships after defeating hosts Maharashtra with huge margins in one-sided boys and girls finals at the Mahindra Stadium here on Tuesday.

While MP boys thrashed Maharashtra 8-3 to clinch the boys title, the girls blanked the hosts 7-0 in the final.

MP and Maharashtra have qualified for the inter-zonals to be held in Bhopal from May 21 to 27.

MP boys took a commanding 4-0 lead in the first half of their match and despite a valiant effort in the latter half, Maharashtra came second-best.

The winners took lead in the 9th minute through a field goal by Arjun Sharma.

Skipper Mohammad Nizamuddin converted the penalty stroke in the 32nd minute and three minutes later found the nets again off a penalty corner.

In the second half, too, MP dominated the game. They scored in the 42nd and 45th minutes, before Maharashtra could open their account in the 51st minute.

Maharashtra scored two more goals (54th and 63rd minutes) but Madhya Pradesh also scored goals in quick succession (56th and 66th minutes) to maintain an upper hand.

Maharashtra were handicapped because their first choice goalkeeper Kenneth Anthony could not take the field in the first half as he had suffered a leg injury, which needed four stitches, prior to the game.

He came on for the below par Pratamesh Kolhe in the later half and conceded four goals.

Earlier, MP girls rode roughshod over the hosts to clinch the title.

Captain Karishma Yadav scored a hat-trick, netting the ball at 22nd, 27th and 58th minutes.

Rakhi Prajapati contributed two goals in the 29th and 62nd minutes, while Neelu Dadiya and Upasana Singh helped the team complete the rout.