A Bariatu Girls’ High School player scores a goal at Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi on Wednesday. (Hardeep Singh)
Three teams from Bariatu, Gumla and Bundu have qualified for a prestigious national level tournament after three days of gruelling hockey in Ranchi on Wednesday.
Bariatu Girls’ High School posted a 4-0 victory over Simdega Residential Hockey Centre to win the Under-17 state-level qualifiers for Nehru Cup.
In earlier matches of the day, Gumla Residential Hockey Centre defeated Simdega Residential Hockey Centre in the Under-17 boys’ category and Bundu Residential Hockey Centre prevailed over Latehar Residential Hockey Centre among Under-14 boys.
The three winning teams will now represent Jharkhand at the Nehru Cup in Delhi in October.
The match between Bariatu Girls’ High School and Simdega Residential Hockey Centre attracted a large crowd, thanks to the former’s reputation of producing international hockey sensations like Bigan Soy.
Bariatu forward Nisha Rani Aind drew first blood for her team in the 11th minute. Bibha Kerketta scored the second goal and Kanti Pradhan sealed Simdega’s fate by hitting two consecutive goals.
“The winners of the state-level qualifiers will be groomed by their respective centres for the Nehru Cup, which will be held in Delhi,” said Sarojini Lakra, deputy director of art, culture, sports and youth affairs department.
The last day of the three-day tournament at Astroturf Hockey Stadium saw a number of cultural performances by JAP’s Jharkhand Band artistes and noted Nagpuri singer Mukund Nayak who entertained the crowd between breaks.
Kamal Nayan Choubey, additional director general of Jharkhand Armed Police, was chief guest.
The three-day tournament, however, laid bare the lack of maintenance at the hockey stadium. Due to lack of regular cleaning, the Morabadi facility had turned slippery, forcing players to run slowly during matches.