National women’s c’ship: RSPB clinches title

Defeats Madhya Pradesh 4-0 in the final.

Vandana Katariya (in picture) led the effective RSPB attack in the final; she also scored a field goal.   -  Sandeep Saxena (File Photo)

Railway Sports Promotion Board maintained its unbeaten run to clinch the eighth Senior National Women’s Hockey Championship title, defeating Madhya Pradesh 4-0 in the final.

Playing in front of a boisterous crowd at the Astro Turf Hockey Stadium, RSPB was at its best. It put up a structured defence to prevent Madhya Pradesh attackers from making successful circle entries while the team’s attack - led by forward Vandana Katariya - frequently threatened the rival defence.

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RSPB’s first goal was scored in the third quarter through Vandana’s field goal in the 36th minute. The two teams were goalless in the first two quarters. Vandana scored yet another splendid goal in the 41st minute to take the lead to 2-0.

Prolific Wankhede

Later, Priyanka Wankhede, who is second in the list of leading goal-scorers behind team-mate Anupa Barla, scored a scintillating field goal. It put RSPB 3-0 ahead in the 43rd minute; it also took Wankhede’s tally to 12 in the tournament.

A good finish via an improvised attack enabled the winning team to end its campaign in style; Vandana scored a fine goal in the 59th minute.

In the bronze medal match, Haryana beat home team Jharkhand 2-0. Experienced players Rani (19’) and Deepika (41’) scored to help their team win after a disappointing outing in the semifinal against Madhya Pradesh.