Tolly come back from dead
Lucky goal gives CISF first title
Dua sees foreign hand in success
A ‘last battle’ to decide the title-race
Amit, Nandita bag titles
Calcutta Races/ Championship issue to go to wire
Calcutta Races/ Wandering Warrior shines

 
 
TOLLY COME BACK FROM DEAD 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
ITI 2
Tollygunge 2

It is tough for any team to recover from a two-goal deficit and then get into a winning position in the National Football League.

Tollygunge Agragami did just that today, yet it does not really show the team in a brilliant light. More so, it depicts the poor way that ITI, Bangalore, are in.

It was a case of broken defence lines, at either end at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium. Football was haphazard, and in the chaos, ITI sprung the surprise, just two minutes into the match when Kenneth G. Ugwo, off a pass on the top of the box from Naushed, shot home.

The Tollygunge defence line had stopped, assuming Kenneth was off-side, but referee Reaz-Ul Haq did not react. There was a protest by Tollygunge players and officials and a few missiles also landed on Haq’s head from the stands.

In the 58th minute, Ekeh pulled up, off a Gyan Prakash pass near the half line, and ran a 40m solo, challenged by Partha Sarathi Dey. Ekeh outraced Dey and sidestepped goalkeeper Hemanta Dora and slotted home.

Stumped at the double reverse, Tollygunge hit back strongly. Sasthi Duley and Bhabani Mohanty were not really combining well, with the latter totally out of form.

A minute after Ekeh’s goal Abdulateef Seriki received a goalmouth pass from Saliu Abdul Wasu and logged in for the home team’s first goal.

Four minutes later Prakash, who had been booked in the first half, was again in a scuffle, earning his second yellow and the red card. Down to ten men, ITI failed to mount any more offensives, and in the 64th minute Saliu, off a Duley centre from the left, headed in the equaliser.

Tollygunge attacks continued, and a Seriki shot came off the crosspiece. Tollygunge have 21 points from 18 matches.

TEAMS

ITI: Mark Mascarhenas, Sunil Kumar, Firoz, Majid A.M. Odaa, Rishi Kapoor (Santosh Kumar, 82), Gyan Prakash, George E. Ekeh, Naushed, P. Rawath (K Raju, 63), M Jimmy, Kenneth G. Ugwo.

TOLLYGUNGE: Dora, Reaz-Ul Mustafa, Debashis Pal Chowdhury, Biswanath Mondal, Partha sarathi Dey, Sandip Das (Ranjan Chowdhury, 42), Bhabani Mohanty (Tenjin Ikebang, 85), Saliu Abdul Wasu, Sasthi Duley, Emeka Achilefu, Abdulateef Seriki.

Referee: Rizwan Ul-Haq (Delhi).

JCT, FCK draw goalless

JCT and F C Kochin played a goalless draw in the fifth National Football league match here today with both teams missing a good many chances, reoprts PTI from Ludhiana.

In the 25th minute a well struck back volley from Sunday Seah of Kochin hit the goal bar.

Ten minutes later JCT’s Shaminder Singh passed to Hardeep Singh whose header was deflected by Kochin goalkeeper.

After this match JCT have 16 points while Kochin have 33 points.

   

 
 
LUCKY GOAL GIVES CISF FIRST TITLE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
CISF 1
BSF 0

It was one of those finals which no team deserved to win. The Beighton Cup-deciding clash looked headed for extra-time and, possibly, a penalty shootout — till Lady Luck smiled on Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

A routine penalty corner hit by 26-year-old Lucknow man Irfan Ahmed, two minutes from end of regulation time, was partially stopped by BSF ’keeper Jasjit Singh. Full-back Mangru Tirkey, standing guard on the goalline, should have driven the ball out of harm’s way. Instead, he froze for a split second, and watched the ball roll into the goal.

There wasn’t any time for BSF to hit back, ensuring CISF’s maiden triumph in the 106-year-old competition. A purse of Rs 1 lakh was an added bonus for the team from Chandigarh. Their Jalandhar neighbours had to make do with Rs 50,000.

The match resembled a sparring session between two partners who knew each other’s game too well. Both took careful, measured steps — waiting for the other to make a mistake.

CISF, playing their sixth match in eight days, were the first to break through into rival territory. Captain Gregory Valeria Xaxa, top-scorer in the tournament with seven goals, set up Prateek, who drove the ball miles wide. Cyril Ekka then produced a solo down the middle only to see his soft reverse-flick being palmed away by Jasjit.

The rest of the opening half saw BSF enjoy territorial advantage. Marinus Lakra, the hard-working medio equally adept at blocking and distribution, was the brain behind every BSF foray. He richly deserved the tournament’s Best Player award, worth Rs 10,000.

BSF came closest to putting the ball in the CESC goal in the 10th minute. Christopher Ekka’s penalty corner attempt rebounded off the base of the upright. BSF forced two more penalty corners, both ending in pushes off target.

A minute before half-time, CISF nearly came to grief due to some sloppy defending by Irfan and Bharat Kumar. Harbhajan Singh’s cross from the right eluded the full-backs but, luckily for them, BSF forward Sushil Kujur failed to get a touch as well.

The second session saw CISF raise the tempo. Ekka, Prateek and Mangra Munda worked up some threatening moves down the right flank. The BSF defence, harried for the first time, committed some indiscretions leading to a series of penalty corners.

The first two brought the best out of the BSF custodian. Jasjit flung himself to his right to block shots from Xaxa and Irfan.

Xaxa, who looked a tired man, tried another indirect hit off the third penalty corner. This time, Jasjit’s clearance wasn’t proper and the umpire signalled another penalty corner. It went waste as the ball wasn’t stopped correctly.

The CISF camp was given a fright in the 25th minute as Ekka was given temporary suspension for an unlawful stick charge on Harbhajan.

Once Ekka was back, CISF got back to their attacking ways. The fifth penalty corner resulted as the BSF defence committed another infringement near the striking zone.

Sushil Kumar’s push was cleanly stopped by Prateek, but penalty-corner specialist Irfan’s first-time hit seemed to have been blocked. The next moment, the ball was in, leaving the BSF men shell-shocked.

“We wanted to score desperately as it would leave BSF little time to equalise,”said Irfan.

   

 
 
DUA SEES FOREIGN HAND IN SUCCESS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
Indian table tennis coach for the forthcoming Commonwealth championships, Manjit Dua, feels that foreign coaches hold the key to India’s success in international tournaments. Their expertise coupled with more Indian participation in foreign leagues will help the players excel in their individual gameplan.

The former national champion was candid enough to admit that Korean coach Kim Chung Ho at the Centre of Excellence, SAI Eastern Centre and his Chinese counterpart at the PSCB Academy have played a big role in improving the players’ standards.

“They have brought about a tremendous improvement in the attitude of the players. Having represented their respective countries at the highest level, they are aware of the latest techniques and methods. Because of all this, the players have gained in all fields — skill, stamina, endurance,” Dua told The Telegraph, last evening, between practice sessions at the SAI campus.

“There are no full fledged coaches in India as we all are employed elsewhere. Moreover, the foreigners are paid handsomely and hence the accountability is more,” the national coach explained.

“Their experience in training is vast and in keeping with the latest technology. They analyse each and every individual separately and will train them according to their needs after chalking out a detailed plan. Once they reach a conclusion, they will make an individual specialise in a certain discipline,” Dua added.

India No.1 Chetan Baboor is also for more foreign involvement in table tennis. He has been playing for Enig in Kalmar, a premier Swedish League club for the past couple of seasons and believes the gains have been stupendous.

“What I am today is all because of playing in the Swedish League. The most important thing is your approach tends to be more professional since you’re exposed to international conditions,” Baboor said.

Playing in foreign leagues, though, is not easy. “You’ll have to find a club and the effort should be sustained over a few seasons. There’s no point playing for one or two years. The federation and sponsors will have to come forward to meet the expenses.

“In terms of standards, one may not get a chance to play the top players at the outset, but still it’s better than in India,” Baboor, who along with S. Raman and current national champion Soumyadeep Roy feature in the Swedish League, remarked.

Baboor and Raman are on the verge of completing a hattrick of titles in the doubles at the Commonwealth meet in New Delhi (April 14-20) this time. But Baboor mixes his optimism with caution.

“Every year the competition is getting tougher. It was great winning it for the first time. Last year it was far more difficult. This year it’s not going to be any easier either,” Baboor stressed.

Dua, though, is very hopeful. “Their understanding can only be compared to that of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. That we will be playing on our home turf will be an added advantage.”

In fact, India’s chances rely mainly on this experienced pair in the Commonwealth meet as well as the world championships in Osaka from April 23.

   

 
 
A ‘LAST BATTLE’ TO DECIDE THE TITLE-RACE 
 
 
BY SUJIT BHAR
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
Into the home stretch of the fifth National Football League, what really separates East Bengal from Mohun Bagan are three dainty points and aspirations. The teams meet tomorrow afternoon at the Salt Lake Stadium to sort out these contentious issues.

East Bengal, with their lead cut from eight sparkling points not too long back, will have to come out of their stupor of defeat at the hands of Tollygunge Agragami. Defending champions Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, have had a recent booster of a win versus FC Kochin, and look forward to wipe out memories of their 0-1 first leg loss.

A Mohun Bagan-East Bengal match has more ingredients in store than just the trophy stake. What rules is the temperament of the team on that particular day.

However, a paper comparison would still keep the scale pretty horizontal. For East Bengal, it is the defence that leaves coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya with a furrowed forehead. The fact that three key players — Sur Kumar Singh, Ratan Singh and Dipak Mondal — have gone off to do national duty has not helped. The added discomfort has been the fine performance that the Mohun Bagan forward line has been producing.

The East Bengal coach did not quite mince words when he said it was rather “stupid” of the All India Football Federation to have drawn three players in the same position from one club. He was, obviously, referring to the several containment theories that have been floated and busted on Bagan’s Brazilian striker Jose Ramirez Barreto. “He is surely the best striker on the country’s footballing scenario today,” he said, adding that he did have a plan or three for Barreto. “You will see it onfield.”

Manoranjan said that the defeat to Tollygunge is “history.” He said it was time to concentrate on the job at hand. That’s all.

He does have a decent midfield-attacking lineup, though, in Omolaja Olalekan and Dipankar Roy, Anit Ghosh, Bijen Singh and Dipendu Biswas. Omolaja scored the winning goal in the first leg, Anit has been effective up from his early defensive mould and Dipankar’s speed does create problems. However, there has been trouble for Dipendu with his form.

That could be the key point for Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya. He seemed rather nonchalant in his approach today, or maybe it was a put-on, really. “Yes, Dipendu is a problem on a good day,” he said. “But tomorrow I’ll let East Bengal do all the thinking. They are leading, they are the ones with the title really in sight, and they are the favourites. That dumps all the unnecessary pressure on them.”

That may be, but the fact that Mohun Bagan will be missing a key player in Basudeb Mondal (out with two bookings) will weigh heavy on Subrata’s mind. (Manoranjan indicated a sense of relief at Basudeb’s absence). Bagan will also be missing Amar Ganguly, who was marched off during the FC Kochin match. But this is a player Subrata will probably be happier without.

“Dipankar is a player to watch in the East Bengal ranks,” said Subrata. So he has a plan for him. But he knows his forwards will have the Suley Musahs to contend with.

Hence the seemingly unflappable mask. “If we win, we’ll pat ourselves on our backs, if not, we’ll not. That’s the difference. But I am positive. In 1976 we were a point in the rear with a couple of matches to go, and we did clinch the local league,” he said. Only, this time it’s the National League.

Subrata is still not comfortable with the Bangladeshis. Though Alfaz Ahmed has already played and has not been too bad, Mohammed Nakib has yet to set foot on the Maidan turf in any match. Sumit Sengupta has just got a goal, and if somehow the Basudeb deficit can be offset and the forwards fed well, Mohun Bagan do have a fair chance.

The rest, of course, depends on the morrow.

TEAMS

MOHUN BAGAN (from): Sandip Nandy, Dulal Biswas, Amauri da Silva, Hussein Mustafi, Lolendra Singh, Jayanta Sen, Debjit Ghosh, James Singh, Alfaz Ahmed/Sumit Sengupta, Jose Ramirez Barreto.

EAST BENGAL (from): Sangram Mukherjee, Jackson Egygpong, Carlton Chapman/Sheikh Sanjib, Isiaka Awoyemi, Falguni Dutta, Anit Ghosh, Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy, Dipendu Biswas, Omolaja Olalekan.

   

 
 
AMIT, NANDITA BAG TITLES 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
Amit Das and Nandita Saha came from behind to clinch the men’s and women’s crowns at the Calcutta table tennis championships today

North Calcutta boy Amit managed only 11 points in the opening game against Prithiraj Bose before changing gears to capture the next three 21-18, 24-22, 21-17.

Mousumi Pal, who had earlier won the girls’ crown beating Anusree Saha, was within three points of landing the bigger prize as well. A trifle over-eager to seal it up at 21-16, 24-22, 18-18, Mousumi made crucial mistakes to let Nandita Saha turn things around quite dramatically.

Medha Moitra and Souvik Kar bagged the nursery titles, Arpita Banerjee and Kuntal Basak the cadet events, and Nabanita Bose, Soumyajit Sarkar sub-junior honours.

The finals were followed by a BTTA-organised ‘do-well’ function for the Indian probables preparing at SAI for the Commonwealth meet in New Delhi. The 20 campers, along with coaches Manjit Dua, Tapan Chandra and Sunil Babras were wished good luck.

RESULTS (All finals) — Nursery girls: Medha Moitra bt Gargi Nag 21-14, 21-15. Nursery boys: Souvik Kar bt Indrajit Mondal 21-14, 22-20. Cadet girls: Arpita Banerjee bt Sayanta Pal 21-8, 21-10. Cadet boys: Kuntal Basak bt Sougata Sarkar 21-19, 21-10. Sub-junior girls: Nabanita Bose bt Salankara Mahalanobis 21-10, 21-14, 13-21, 20-22, 21-16. Sub-junior boys: Soumyajit Sarkar bt Amarnath Das 13-21, 21-14, 18-21, 21-19, 21-15. Girls: Mousumi Pal bt Anusree Saha 21-18, 21-18, 21-19. Boys: Niloy Basak bt 18-21, 21-18, 21-14, 16-21, 21-17. Women: Nandita Saha bt Mousumi Pal 16-21, 22-24, 21-19, 21-19, 21-13. Men: Amit Das bt Prithiraj Bose 11-21, 21-18, 24-22, 21-17.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ CHAMPIONSHIP ISSUE TO GO TO WIRE 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
The crammed verdicts, on April 6, were largely because of desperation among the sports professionals to pick up whatever they could before the season concluded on Thursday. Almost all the six events on the cards were subjected to camera-verdicts.

Trainers Vijay Singh and Daniel David, in any case, were expected to go all out and, in fact, the two leaders at the top of the championship table picked up four of the six events, on the cards, between them to drag the contest to the wire. At the start, it was Vijay who led by a point but the equation changed in favour of Daniel by the day end.

Had not Mujeeb-ur-Rehman’s Stately Honour pipped Piece Of Cake at the post, Daniel would have finished the afternoon with quadruple of winners instead of the three he led-in through Crimson King, Pneumatic Power and Peace Envoy for his Southern patron MAM Ramaswamy.

Vijay, on the other hand, had to be satisfied with the solitary victory of Albright in the juvenile race, the Espoir Handicap, in which he had concentrated his forces. Although the stable-strength occupied the top four slot, it was not in preferred order if judged by their ‘ring’ odds. It was Aherlow who attracted a good wagering at 7-4 but the Cristopher Alford-ride failed by the shortest of verdicts. Lying a far away sixth till the half-way stage, Cristopher left the Sir Bruce-Emerald Orb filly much to do as Md. Amil on Albright went on a start-to-finish mission.

Daniel’s mission, which proved to be futile on Piece Of Cake, bore fruits from the third race onwards, thanks to some forceful riding of his stable jockey A. Imran Khan.

Imran, on 7-4 favourite Crimson King in the Eastern Air Command Cup, successfully handled a double, albeit, late challenge coming from Winning Hand and the second favourite Cup Of Life. The latter was seen making a threatening move along the rails but failed to pass the King and the Hand by a neck and a short-head which separated the three.

Daniel and Imran’s Pneumatic Power was equally tested in the Delhi Race Club Cup but it was his stale-mate Scavanger’s Son who, in the hands of veteran Naresh Engineer, nearly upset the 3-1 favourite. The latter who seems to have come right, may make good the losses if he is accepted to run in the Loch Cleveden Handicap on April 12.

It was left to a 8-1 lesser fancied Peace Envoy in the concluding event, the Wansfell Handicap, to complete the stable’s tally. The runaway winner of the Nilgiris Colts Stakes in Ooty and third in the Derby, the Batzushka-Awareness colt, was, on this day, placed in Class IV for runners who had not won a race in this centre. More importantly, he had finished a good fifth in his last week’s start. Now that he has displayed his good finishing prowess, it may not come as a surprise if Daniel cashes in on his form on the last day.

Appyness in the Predator Cup, provided trainer Mujeeb his double. The Steinbeck-Emotions mare who started her racing career recently at the age of five, faced little difficulty overcoming Armila’s challenge, though the verdict of three parts of a length recorded by the Khaitans-property may sound a tight one.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ WANDERING WARRIOR SHINES 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, April 9: 
Wandering Warrior and Russian Czar were impressive in today morning’s work outs.:
1,000m: Wandering Warrior (C. Alford) in 1-8s; (400m) 27s. Moved well
800m: Raaz (Amjad) and No Regrets (Gowli) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s. Former was a length better. Russian Czar (Rutherford) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Just Kiding (K. Gurang) and Royal Ruler (Rutherford) in 52s;(400m) 26s. Both were level. They were pushed.

Sand track

800m: Arizona Star (Amjad) in 49s; (400m) 23s. Note. Best In Show (Upadhya) in 59s; (400m) 27s. Bird’s Empire (Khalander) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Ballet Master (Tamang) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Good. Ashbury (Rb) in 52s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Adeline (Rb) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Bold Apparel (Som S.) in 59; (400m) 27s. Easy. Aded Asset (B. Gurang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. In fine shape. Aragrove (Som S.) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Alborada (B. Gurang) 55s; (400m) 25s. Fit.
600m: Endless Surprise (P. Kumar) in 40s. Moved easyl.
Gate Practice, From 2,000m to 1,400m: Master Bold (Rb), Freedom Dancer (C. Alford) and Arco Europa (A. P. Singh) in 42s. All jumped out level each was separated by a distance.
   
 

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