Turner’s double strike sets up win for Kalinga Lancers

Glenn Turner scored in the 44th and 50th minutes while Sarvanjit Singh pulled one back for Ranchi Rays in the 53rd minute.

Kalinga Lancer's Glenn Turner celebrates after score goal against Ranchi Rays in the Hockey India League.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Australian Glenn Turner struck twice as Kalinga Lancers beat Ranchi Rays 4-2 in an entertaining match of Hockey India League here today.

Turner scored in the 44th and 50th minutes while Sarvanjit Singh pulled one back for Ranchi Rays in the 53rd minute.

Played in front of a vocal and partisan home crowd, there was no doubt that this top-of-the-table clash was going to be dished out with pace and skill, and the teams did not disappoint the spectators at the Kalinga Stadium.

Both the sides raced out of the blocks at a frenetic pace, attacking each other constantly, almost without a break from hooter to hooter.

It was Kalinga Lancers’ young custodian Abhinav Kumar Pandey who had a busier first quarter in the goal, his saves keeping his team from dropping behind too early in the game.

He padded away Christopher Ruhr’s drag flick in the 7th minute of the game, a superb effort to keep his team in the game.

Pandey’s brilliant show continued in the second quarter when he dived towards the right to stop the ball fiercely struck by Ranchi Rays drag flicker Ashley Jackson attempting to convert a penalty corner in the 23rd minute.

Jackson asked for a video referral for dangerous play within the striking circle, as the ball deflected off Pandey’s stick. The umpire upheld his appeal but Jackson failed to convert yet again.

Later, Kalinga Lancers earned as many as five penalty corners but failed to convert a single goal as both teams went into the first half in stalemate.

Starting the third quarter at 0-0 score, the host was quick to earn a penalty corner in the 31st minute of play but captain Moritz Fuerste could not convert this opportunity.

While the pattern continued into this quarter with both teams constantly rushing at each other looking for opening, it was interesting to see how Kalinga Lancers’ top scorer from last season Glenn Turner was constantly marked by at least three Ranchi Ray’s men at any given time.

But the lanky Australian forward was relentless. He attempted a penetration in the 43rd minute and earned a penalty stroke for his team, thanks to a sloppy tackle by a Ranchi Rays defender.

Turner made no mistake in converting the stroke as he fiercely put one past Tyler Lovell to give Lancers the much-needed 2-0 lead.

Turner struck again for Kalinga Lancers in the 49th minute when he converted a remarkable field goal that came off a rebound.

It was not the end of the action though as Ranchi Rays made a late comeback in the 53rd minute when Sarvanjit Singh scored a field goal to make the score 4-2 but it was not enough to stop the host from ending the match in Kalinga Lancers’ favour.