Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) was crowned the champion of the B division in the 10th Senior National Women’s Hockey championship at the National Games Hockey stadium here on Saturday.
In the final, SSB prevailed over Steel Plant Sports Board (SPSB) 4-2 in the penalty shoot out after the teams were locked 1-1 after regular time. In the shootout, SPSB was successful in converting only one attempt while SSB converted three.
SPSB’s initial strategy to blunt the effectiveness of SSB’s prolific strikers Preeti Simran and Manisha Rathi paid off. Both the strikers found it difficult to find space inside the rival box and SSB’s initial forays fizzled out. SPSB had more of procession in the midfield and the side looked dangerous in the counter attacks.
SPSB went ahead in the 18th minute as Shailja Kumari Gautham weaved her way into the D and drilled a low shot from an acute angle for the opening goal. SPSB continued its offensive game and came close to increasing the lead at least twice in the second quarter.
SSB regrouped after the break and displayed the cohesiveness – which was missing in the first half – in the midfield. The threatening moves came from both flanks and SSB earned a succession of penalty corners and equaliser came through one of them.
The SPSB goalkeeper Nisha Yadav did well to repel the first shot from Babita but Ranjita Minj pounced on the rebound and tapped it in for the equaliser in the 38th minute. SPSB showed more intent in the fourth quarter but SSB defended well to push the match into shootout.
In the shootout, Manisha, Preeti and Kanika Raj converted their attempts for SSB while Manisha Dhawal was successful for SPSB. Both SSB and SPSB qualified for the A division championship for next year. Earlier, UCO Bank WHA hammered Bengaluru 10-0 to take the third place. Priya struck four goals including a hat-trick while Pooja and Chanchal struck a brace each.
A division (league): Punjab 2 (Baljeet Kaur 10, Arshdeep Kaur 36 drew with Chandigarh 2 (Devi Dhapa 28, Shalu Mann 41);
Himachal 3 (Anita 3, Ritu 24, Nidhi 36) beat Kerala 1 (V.H.Sarigha 25);
SAI 1(Dung Dung 39) by Karnataka 0;
CRPF 1 (Puja Yadav 46) drew Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy 1 (Karishma Yadav 34);
Jharkhand 7 (Beauty 3, 39, Sangita Kumari 12, 42, Reshma Soreng 41, 51, Rajni 56) beat Chhattisgarh 1(Anjali Mahto 21).
B division (Final): SSB 4 (Ranjita Minj 38, Manisha, Preeti, Kanika Raj) beatt SPSB 2 ( Shailja Kumari Gautam 18, Manisha Dhawal).
Loser’s final: UCO Bank WHA 10 (Priya 16, 34, 37, 57, Pooja 3, 7, Chanchal 21, 43, Monisha 13, Kajal 54) beat Bengaluru 0.