Punjab win men's title

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Punjab overcame resistance from Dhanraj Pillay-led Maharashtra to lift the national men's hockey title with a 4-1 victory.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Punjab overcame a spirited resistance from Dhanraj Pillay-led Maharashtra to lift the men's hockey title with a 4-1 victory in the final today, while defending champions Haryana had a relatively easy time in brushing aside Jharkhand 4-0 in the women's final. Punjab, who led 1-0 at the half-time, scored through Kanwaljit Singh (7th minute), Ajitpal Singh (37th) and Gagan Ajit Singh (50th), while the consolation goal for Maharashtra came in the 45th minute through Girish Pimpale. Punjab displayed a good example of total hockey and made a number of forays into the rival penalty area early into the game. The Maharashtra defence, which held them in good stead in the semi-final against Services yesterday, was off-colour today and allowed the Punjab forwards to repeatedly penetrate into their goal area. Maharashtra were also unable to make many serious moves despite Pillay being poorly marked today. Punjab went into the lead in the seventh minute with Kanwaljit Singh opening the scoring. The second goal was a result of defensive lapse from Maharashtra goalkeeper Ryan Sequiera whose performance was a pale shadow of what he displayed in the game against Services yesterday. Daljit Singh's shot from outside the circle was padded by Sequiera unnecessarily since no Punjab player had contacted the ball. The ball remained in play and in the ensuing melee Ajit Pal Singh tapped it in to make the score 2-0 just after the breather. Girish Pimpale reduced the margin in the 45th minute, but Gagan Ajit Singh scored just three minutes after that to seal the affair for Punjab. In the women's final, Jasjeet Kaur (51st and 63rd minutes) and Mamta Kharab (65th and 67th) scored two goals each for Haryana in the second half after the two teams went goalless in the first. Earlier in the morning, Services won the bronze medal in the men's section with a 4-1 verdict against Karnataka. In the women's section, the bronze medal was won by Maharashtra, who defeated Chandigarh 2-0. (PTI)

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