Tollygunge rally to hold SBT
Md. Sp. open vs Jorba Durga
Arjun Atwal slips under quadruple bogeys
Sourav to play for Board XI
FCI get the better of Aryan
Chennai Races/ Simply Noble may be hard to down in Sprinters' Trophy
Favourite tags take a beating

Calcutta, March 2: 
Tollygunge Agragami wasted numerous chances before settling for a 2-2 draw with State Bank of Travancore (SBT) in the National Football League at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today.

Abdul Noushad put the visitors ahead early in the match but Tollygunge restored parity through Bhabani Mohanty. Abdul Hakkim again gave SBT the lead but Emeka Achilefu�s shot deflected off Lanel Thomas for the equaliser.

SBT were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute after goalkeeper Feroz Sherieff was given marching orders by referee T. Bhaskar of Tamil Nadu for pulling down a goalbound Mohanty outside the box. But Tollygunge failed to take advantage. Rajeev Kumar filled in for Sherieff.

SBT tried to gain a foothold in the first session through some sporadic raids but after the breather it was one-way traffic for the local side. Shasthi Duley made good use of the weak link in the SBT defence, moving down the left flank with ease and with unfailing regularity. Mohanty and Emeka were the worst offenders wasting several gilt-edged opportunities.

SBT took the lead as early as the sixth minute when S. Ignatious headed back, following a corner from the right, for Noushad to tap in. The hosts equalised two miutes later, Duley�s centre from the right was comfortably headed in by Mohanty.

SBT went ahead again in the 30th minute, a horrible mix-up among the two Tollygunge stoppers leading to their downfall. Ignatious� pass to Hakkim found him in the open near the top of the 16-yard box. Hakkim coolly placed the ball over an advancing Prasanta Dora (2-1).

Tollygunge had to wait till the 55th minute for the equaliser. Emeka�s shot from a goalmouth melee deflected off Thomas into the net.

A little later, Seriki Abdulateef placed the ball on a platter for Emeka but he shot wide from close with only the goalie to beat.

Substitute Tenjin Kibang also came close.

For almost the entire second half the visitors had to be content with keeping their rivals at bay. The attacks were frequent, and, at times, all ten SBT players had to fall back into their own territory. But Tollygunge had only their forwards to blame for failing to gain full points.

Seriki, Emeka in a spot

Tollygunge have decided to showcause Seriki and Emeka for playing for an unauthorised meet for a consideration, a senior club official informed after the match.


TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Prasanta Dora, Biswanath Mondal, Debasish Pal Chwodhury, Satish Bharti, Parthasarathi Dey, Bhabani Mohanty (Tenjin Kibang, 83 min), Abdul Saliu, Abayomi Felix, Shasthi Duley, Seriki Abdulateef, Emeka Achilefu.

SBT: Feroz Sherieff, Paul Antony, V. Sivakumar, Lanel Thomas, Vinu Jose, T. Shabbir Ali, X.R. Prajeev, Ajayan K. (Rajeev Kumar, 70), Abdul Noushad, Abdul Hakkim, S. Ignatious.

Referee: T. Bhaskar (TN).


New Delhi, March 2: 
Calcutta�s Mohammedan Sporting are in a none-too-easy easy preliminary group in the second division National Football League which kicks off March 14. They have been clubbed with Tata Football Academy of Jamshedpur and Jorba Durga Club of Orissa.

Mohammedan Sporting kick off against Jorba Durga on March 14 and meet TFA on March 18. Two teams from each zone qualify for the second phase in Bhopal.

Of the 10 teams in the second phase, four will qualify for the final round in Malda.

Relegated Border Security Force (BSF) find themselves in an eight-team North Zone group in Delhi. The West Zone group, to be staged in Goa, also has six teams.

AIFF secretary Albert Colaco said the draw for the initial phase was on a regional basis and hence the imbalances.

The groupings and venues are as follows: East Zone (Balurghat): Mohammedan Sporting, Tata Football Academy (TFA) and Jorba Durga Club. North Zone (Delhi): Indian Nationals (Delhi), BSF and Punjab Police (both Punjab), Himalayan Tigers (Himachal Pradesh), J&K Bank (Jammu), City Club (Haryana), Youngsters (Chandigrah) and one team from Uttar Pradesh. North-East (Imphal): Assam Rifles, Eastern Sporting Union (Manipur), Agiye Chalo Sangha (Tripura), Football Club of Mizoram, Langsing Sports (Meghalaya) and Nagaland Police. South Zone (Chennai): Indian Bank (Chennai), HAL Bangalore, Central Excise Recreation Club (Kerala) and State Bank of Hyderabad. West Zone (Goa): Dempo and Sporting Club de Goa (both Goa), Central Railway (Mumbai), Nivia Club (Rajasthan), City Police (Rajasthan) and CRPF Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh).


Calcutta, March 2: 
The vagaries of golf caught up with Arjun Atwal today when he had to battle back from some poor golf on the front nine to keep his score at an acceptable one over. He finished on the 18th with a horrendous quadruple bogey to suddenly go from being ten ahead to only six strokes in front, starting the final round of the Rs 10 lakh Wills Eastern India Open tomorrow.

There was a stunned silence around the 18th green on the Royal Calcutta Golf Club course as Arjun, who had come off birdies on 14th and 15th, found trouble first from the tee and then with his third shot to close with a round of 77. His playing partner Indrajit Bhalotia had made up only two strokes at the end of the 17th before this generous gesture from Atwal.

Bhalotia finished with a 71 and a total of two under 214 to be six strokes adrift of Arjun who is at eight under 208. While this is still a huge lead, the pack behind Atwal including Mukesh Kumar (216), Firoz Ali (217) and Ali Sher (218) would have felt at least the door has been left ajar by Atwal.

Arjun had bogeys on the first, fifth and seventh, along with one on the 12th. He offset them with birdies on the par five fourth and 15th, as well as over the tricky 14th, before misfortune struck.

This certainly was a huge swing from yesterday when he made birdies at will. Bhalotia was more consistent and was two under at end of eight holes before he bogeyed the ninth and the 11th. However, he hung on close at 71.

Mukesh Kumar did not have a single blemish on his card till the 18th. Like Firoz, he has been consistent if not flashy. Ali Sher and Digvijay Singh share fifth place with Shiv Shankar Prasad Chaurasia, Anil Samantha and Uttam Singh Mundy making up the top eight professionals in the field so far.

It was heartening to see two amateurs in the top ten with Rahil Gangjee returning a 71 to exchange places with Sanjeev Mehra who had a 73 and led till yesterday by a solitary stroke.

After yesterday�s birdie barrage from Atwal today the Royal bared its teeth and with 71 being the lowest there were six players at this score from the field of 62 that made the cut.

The race for the Player of the Year has boiled down to between Mukesh Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Shiv Prakash.

Tomorrows winner stands to gain Rs 1.62 lakh with the runner-up receiving Rs 1.12 lakh.


208 Arjun Atwal (68, 63, 77); 214 Indrajit Bhalotia (71, 72, 71); 216 Mukesh Kumar (73, 72, 71); 217 Firoz Ali (74, 71, 72); 218 Ali Sher (74, 73, 71), Digvijay Singh (70, 75, 73); 219 SSP Chaurasia (73, 72, 74); 220 Anil Samantha (74, 75, 71), Uttam Singh Mundy (74, 73, 73); 221 Mohd Islam (76, 73, 72), Devendra Patel (74, 74, 73),Vijay Kumar (72, 74, 75).

Amateurs: 219 Rahil Gangjee (74, 74, 71), 220 Sanjeev Mehra (78, 69, 73).


Calcutta, March 2: 
Sourav Ganguly will lead Board President�s XI in the three-day tie against the visiting Australians in New Delhi from Tuesday.

�I felt I needed some practice before the second Test,� Sourav, who returned to the city this morning, said. The skipper visited the CAB this evening for a brief period.

Sourav had himself decided to play the match after the ten-wicket defeat to the Australians in the first Test and had accordingly requested the national selectors to include him in the side.

The squad does not show any other regular from the India squad except Narendra Hirwani.

Sourav, who has looked somewhat out of sorts, with measly scores of 8 and 1 in Mumbai, is probably trying to get the best out of a tight schedule that does not leave any scope for mistakes.

The �surprise� decision also implies that he is aware that a handsome score will boost his confidence ahead of the Calcutta Test, which begins March 11. Wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya was originally slated to lead the Board President�s XI.

In New Delhi, Board vice-president C.K. Khanna was informed by secretary Jaywant Lele that Sourav will lead the side, reports PTI.


Sourav Ganguly (captain), Vijay Dahiya, Vinayak Mane, Mohammed Kaif, Jacob Martin, Dinesh Mongia, Srinivas Sriram, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Narendra Hirwani, Rakesh Patel, Surinder Singh, J.P. Yadav, Sarandeep Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Ramesh Powar.


Calcutta, March 2: 
FCI overcame an early setback to beat Aryan 2-1 in a first division group A match of the BHA League today.

J. Babu put Aryan ahead before S. Minz and G. Singh struck for FCI. All goals came in the first half.

In a group B match, Hardeep Singh�s brace helped Khalsa Blues defeat Baranagore SC 2-0.

Eye donation

One hundred thirty nine persons pledged to donate their eyes at the Asian Cricket Foundation-conducted camp at Eden Gardens, raising the total number to 232.

According to CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, the donors are likely to be accomodated in the F block during the ensuing Test match versus Australia.

Mani Ranjan Sen, 81, was the oldest to pledged his eyes. The list also included former Test umpire Bhairab Ganguly.


Chennai, March 2: 
Simply Noble, the Placerville-Lap Of Luxury four-year-old, is fancied to win the 1,200m The Hindu Sprinters� Trophy on Saturday, the opening day of the Invitational week-end in Chennai. Going from start-to-finish, though hard-pressed to beat Strength To Strength in the S. C. Jain Sprinters� Trophy, in Mumbai, the flat Guindy course may come handy for the D. Todywalla-trainee who will be ridden by Richard Hughes.


2 pm: Master Weaver 1. Legendary Lover 2. Opera Star 3.

2.30 pm: Future Fame 1. Secret Melody 2. Finishing Touch 3.

3 pm: Cut Ahead 1. Phraoje 2. Tropical Chief 3.

3.30 pm: Fearless Queen 1. Angel Divine 2. Bay Dragon 3.

4.05 pm: Simply Noble 1.Strength To Strength 2. Tempt Me Not 3.

4.45 pm: Alameda 1. Great Pasha 2. Capitulate 3.

5.20 pm: Autumn Hues 1. Endless Image 2. Super Premium 3.

5.50 pm: Ocean Pearl 1. Runic Symbol 2. Royal Delight 3.

5th Race at 4.05 pm

The Hindu Sprinters� Trophy 1,200m (Terms, four-years old and over)

W ---- Amusing [M. Shah] (Withdrawn) 59.0 --

2 - - 20 Barrier Ridge [Ganapathy] K. Suresh 59.0 1

3 0004 Moonlight Stroll [F. Shaikh] B. Krishnan 59.0 7

4 - - 00 So Royal [D. Byramji] P. Shroff 59.0 9

5 - - 11 Starry Flag [Bharath] C. Alford 59.0 6

6 - 012 Strength To Strength [R. Khan] N.McCullagh 59.0 4

7 - 121 Tempt Me Not [Ponnappa] S. Rajesh 59.0 8

8 3112 Bold Chieftan [Ganapathy] B. Prakash 56.5 10

9 - 111 Simply Noble [Todywalla] R. Hughes 56.5 5

10 3120 Adamile [D. Byramji] A. Kader 55.0 3

11 1033 Symphony Of Fire [Darashah] K. P. Appu 55.0 2

1. Simply Noble (9) 2. Strength To Strength (6) 3. Tempt Me Not (7)

6th race at 4.45 pm.

Usha And Mehra Stud Stayers� Trophy 3,000m (Terms, four-years-old and over)

1 3443 Ace Academy [M. Valavi] Warren S. 59.0 12

2 - 320 Alameda [D. Byramji] A. Kader 59.0 10

3 - 202 Allodium [Bharath] C. Alford 59.0 2

4 0040 Capitulate [Todywalla] R. Hughes 59.0 1

5 4101 Colonial [Asfand] R. Gowli 59.0 5

6 - 021 Great Pasha [Dhariwal] P. Shroff 59.0 3

7 - 000 Jonty Rhodes [N. Karanjawalla] S. Rajesh 59.0 9

8 - 311 Large And Incharge [Hussain] M. Gallagher 59.0 13

9 4243 Mr. Anil [Deshmukh] A. Samad 59.0 6

10 0413 Sun Reality [M. Valavi] B. Prithviraj 59.0 11

11 2111 Mighty Squaw [R. Foley] J. Abraham 57.5 7

12 - 110 Knighted [Todywalla] Rupesh 54.0 4

13 2112 Top Socialite [Ganapathy] B. Prakash 52.5 8

1. Alameda (2) 2. Great Pasha (6) 3. Capitulate (4)

Day�s Best: Simply Noble

Double: Master Weaver & Alameda


Calcutta, March 2: 
The business was far from usual at the RCTC grounds on Saturday. With the crowd at the members� lawn being far from gentlemanly, the all-important race of afternoon � the Kalyani Black Label Million Stakes � seemed to have lost some of its glitters. The promotional drive of the sponsors, the UB Group, appeared to have made way for the complimentary day badges going into wrong hands. It left the regular lady visitors to complain about many things, including the language used by the new entrants.

To add to the miseries of the race-crowd was the dominance of outsiders, largely from trainer Daniel David�s yard. Two of his favourites performed pitiably in the hands of jockey A. Imran Khan who also managed to get sympathy from the stipes with his �hard luck� stories.

The horses with questionable performance were Pneumatic Power in the Supernova Cup and Scarlet Raider in the upper division of the 1,200 metre Up Guards Handicap. Taking on a higher class company after his last victory � over Tsaynen Blue, which had prompted the stewards to open an �inquiry� into the improved performance of the horse � Imran left the speedy horse with much to do. Seventh till the home turn, he looked for a galloping room along the rails thus making things more difficult for the favourite. He manoeuvred an interference and unfortunately it was Magnifico, the ultimate winner, who came in the way.

The wrong�uns from the stable, of late, have been performing in a businesslike manner while the favourites keep going backwards. It appears to be the new gameplan of the stable. It was Sovereign Bullet, who carried the stable�s faith and not the favourite. Robert Gowli had the 6-1 shot, up in the striking range, behind the leader Pure Passion till 300 metres from home. He also led for a while before Cristopher came charging on Magnifico to undo the stables designs by the margin of defeat which was less than a length.

The performance of Daniel�s Scarlet Raider was equally indigestible. Imran failed to ensure a level jump out on the 11-10 favourite and the rest was, of course, easy for him. The two quietly fancied yard-mates Splendid Star and Arctic Fancy, on the other hand, were keen triers, going hammer and tongs up in the final stretch with the verdict going in favour of the former. It was just incidental that the Scarlet was put out of action by his stable-mate Spanish Drum�s whose jockey Paswan lost control over the horse and jammed the favourite along the rails.

Staunch believers in long-priced winners, the Daniel-Imran duo, however, struck with Ace Of Spades and Sadaf in their respective events. Both horses won handsomely and at nourishing odds.

A poor performer over sprints, the six-year-old Ace Of Spades with a lightweight to shoulder, put in a champion-like performance from the start over the staying trip, the 2,000m Revelation Cup. Harry The Horse, the favourite, found his topweight to be a stopper.

However, Imran was just following in the footsteps of Robert Gowli, who earlier in the day in the Partisan Handicap, had masterminded the defeat of the even-money favourite Remember Me. The favourite not only took a tardy jump out but he was also taken eight-wide at the turn to make sure the loss of the last outing winner. The horse appeared to be hanging-out but did Gowli take corrective measures?

Red Trident and Ansbach were the only two favourites in the card of eight events who could deliver the goods. While Naill McCullagh made the Trident�s victory look like an armchair-ride, Aslam Kader�s handling of Ansbach in Black Label Million Stakes appeared to be trifle overconfident. Trying to steal a march from the 600m marker, Kader eased up the 2-10 hot-favourite, 100m from home, and was nearly caught napping when Cristopher brought Calorescence with a big run from the rear to finish just behind, by a shade under a length.


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