East Bengal eves edge past Bagan to title
EB not taking Salgaocar lightly
AIFF set to introduce transfer fee
Eastern Railway win via late goal
Bangalore Racing/ Comet Star may land main event
Bangalore Racing/ Amazing Choice upsets
Calcutta Racing/ Track trials

Calcutta, March 16: 
The East Bengal-Mohun Bagan rivalry found a new pitch when they met for the Calcutta Women�s Football League title this afternoon. Under a scorching sun at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, Shanta Dhara slipped the only goal of the match past a charging Mohun Bagan �keeper to script a �historic� win for the red-and-gold ranks.

The women�s league, organised by the IFA, has been around for some time but this was the first year that the �Big Two� had fielded sides. It hasn�t taken long for their die-hard supporters to follow and add to the �ambience�, complete with their cheers and jeers. Sadly, the latter often turned ugly.

The goal came 23 minutes into the 70-minute match, but East Bengal had to survive sustained pressure from their rivals for much of the match. The red-and-gold brigade had to depend on the breakaways, but looked pretty dangerous every time they did so.

International Sujata Kar was always a handful for the Mohun Bagan defence. With Sharmila Sapui keeping her well fed from midfield, Kar often had them on tenterhooks.

It was from one such breakaway that Shanta, top scorer in the league last year, found the target.

The ball had come from Sharmila and Sujata wasted no time in pushing it into the path of a running Shanta. Sensing danger, goalkeeper Ranjita Khan dashed out but sliding Shanta managed to get a boot and the ball was on its way to an untenanted goal.

The same East Bengal connections worked to set up Shanta again just before the breather, but the Howrah girl hurried with her shot when she had the space and time to carry the ball forward and place past the goalkeeper.

Mohun Bagan, who got a good chance to equalise in the first session, came storming back in the second. They could have scored four minutes into this half had Kalpana Sahoo and then Swati Kumari not erred.

Anjana Kumari, who had a good match for Mohun Bagan, had sent in the cross from the right but Kalpana failed to get a touch before goalkeeper Namita Bag did. But the ball rolled to an unmarked Swati with the East Bengal �keeper out of his charge.

Swati shot over. Another East Bengal breakaway in the 14th minute of this session, a smooth delivery from the deep involving Sharmila, Shanta and Sujata, was broken up when Mohun Bagan stopper Madhu Kumari put her head to a cross. Madhu was a tower of strength in the Mohun Bagan defence.


EAST BENGAL: Namita Bag; Prathama Priyadarshini, Nesha Kumari, Momo Gogoi, Nazda Tabassum; Rajani Alankar, Sharmila Sapui, Swapna Kumari, Sashi Kumari; Sujata Kar, Shanta Dhara.

MOHUN BAGAN: Ranjita Khan; Maria D�Rebelo, Madhu Kumari, Dulali Ghosh, Jayanti Barua, Naushaba Alam (Sanju Kumari, 58th), Mausam Kumari (Seema Dey, 45th), Swati Kumari, Kalpana Sahoo, Anjana Kumari (Papia Ghosh, 66th), Rinku Ghosh.

Referee: Anamika Sen.


Calcutta, March 16: 
The fifth National Football League has not gone very well for former champions Salgaocar and, as they brace themselves for tomorrow�s showdown against leaders East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium, they are probably at their lowest ebb.

On the road for five consecutive �away� matches in the heat and dust of an Indian summer, the Goa outfit will have to get over a shocking loss to Tollygunge the other day.

If Salgaocar were looking for a vote of confidence, they didn�t have to go far. It has come from their opponents. �We aren�t seeing too much into that result against Tollygunge. We know Salgaocar are a very tough side and we�ll be on our guard,� East Bengal coach Manoranjan said after practice at the SAI Eastern Centre this morning. �They are very organised and disciplined,� he added.

Manoranjan feels Bruno Coutinho may be past his prime, but he still was a big threat to his defence. �I�ve seen him this season, and he still knows the route to the goal,� Manoranjan said.

With the skilful Alvito D�Cunha partnering him upfront, Salgaocar�s strike power can be pretty menacing. Ironically, both came on only as second-half substitutes in the match against Tollygunge.

Salgaocar�s Ghanaian goalkeeper Ali Abubacher will be missing again, his place taken by Juje Siddi. So will medio Bengalawal.

While the Nigerian, who is sick, has already been sent home, Abubacher is likely to meet the same fate.

�He has a growth on his ankle that needs surgery,� informed team manager Leopold Fernandes. �He�ll need some three months rest.�

With Suley Musah coming back from a one-match yellow-card ban and stopper Jackson�s knee problem improving (it had forced him out of the Churchill match early in the second half), East Bengal�s defence will have a more solid look.

But it is East Bengal�s striking powers that will be called upon for more urgent business. FC Kochin, breathing down their neck in the title-chase, are waiting for a slip. A draw will be almost as damaging as a loss for East Bengal.

�I don�t think it�s that much of a problem for the boys,� Manoranjan said when asked whether this huge need to keep winning is telling on the players.We�ve been leading for some time now, and I think they have learnt to live with it.�

Striker Dipendu Biswas is still carrying his injury but the East Bengal coach indicated that both he and Jackson will be in the first team.

Mohun Bagan�s 2-4 loss to SBT on Wednesday has surely come as a big morale booster for the red-and-gold camp, because it has pushed their arch-rivals way back in the title-race.

The Sahara Cup has done its bit to jeopardise the League schedule.

Goan teams have been further hit as the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, their home ground, has been shut to prepare for next month�s one-day cricket International against the Aussies.

Salgaocar will be hoping they can take back something from this long and bumpy ride on the road.


New Delhi, March 16: 
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken the initial steps towards professional football in India by introducing separate transfer fees for amateur and professional players. A fee of Rs 1,000 for amateurs and Rs 15,000 for professionals will come into effect in the new season starting from June 1.

In another major decision, I.M. Vijayan and officials of FC Kochin have been summoned to Bangalore on March 26, to appear before the disciplinary committee, regarding the protest lodged by Tollygunge Agragami, AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco today before he left for Goa.

Colaco admitted that after introducing the transfer fee, the next step will be to identify the professional players in the country. He stated that all the foreign players, except those who are students, will be classified as professionals.

Indian players like I.M. Vijayan, Bhaichung Bhutia, Dipak Mondal, who do not have regular jobs, will be counted as pros.

Players like Basudeb Mondal, R.P. Singh, Tushar Rakshit and Dulal Biswas, who work in public sector, will be classified as amateurs.


Calcutta, March 16: 
Rajesh Lakra scored minutes from the final whistle as Eastern Railway tamed a stubborn Mohammedan Sporting in a first division group A BHA league match today.

The two umpires, Akhtar Ali Khan and Khaled Hussain, were manhandled by a group of spectators on their way back from the match.

There was trouble in group B as well, with Belgachia United deciding to play hookey. Trailing West Bengal Police by a goal at the East Bengal ground, they stomped off the pitch in protest after a player was shown the yellow card.

Sporting Union swept past Jagrihi 2-0 with Amarnath Dutta and Ashok Singh getting the goal.

Malaysian team

A Malaysian women�s football team arrives in the city on March 24 for a series of matches with Bengal. The matches come off in Siliguri, Malda, Haldia, Burdwan and the city.

Bank chess

Hosts UCO Bank won the 8th Eastern Region inter-bank chess tournament by finishing with 11 points yesterday. Punjab National Bank (9) and Resrve Bank of India (8.5) were runners-up and third, respectively.

Anjan Bose of PNB won the individual title. He was followed by UCO�s Pradip Kumar Chowdhury and Ananda Prasad Arya.


Bangalore, March 16: 
A decent third behind Concur and Desert Gold, the Darius Byramji-trainee Comet Star is expected to bag the 1,400m Hemavathi Cup, tomorrow. K. P. Appu partners the five-year-old mare by Comet Shine out of Kasurina.


2.30 pm: Rainbow Fantasy 1. Campanero 2. Private Emotions 3.
3 pm: Gordon�s Pet 1. Inxss 2. Bacardi Star 3.
3.30 pm: Kass 1. Ornate Crown 2. Astounding Bay 3.
4 pm: Comet Star 1. Estocade 2. Bank Balance 3.
4.30 pm: Ardent Blue 1. Tina�s Tune 2. Plain Truth 3.
5 pm: Silvanus 1. Alassio 2. Comedy Of Errors 3.
5.30 pm: Hero Worship 1. Red Rosie 2. Trillennium 3.

Day�s Best: Kass

Double: Gordon�s Pet & Silvanus

Bangalore, March 16: 
Ridden by Narasimha, the S. S. Pillay-trained Amazing Choice posted an upset victory in the Davangere Cup in Bangalore on Friday. However, jockey B. Prakash and trainer Ganapathy were the only professionals to record a brace during the afternoon.


(With inter state dividends)

1. March Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (8-5-9) Border Bounty (Prakash) 1; Tapatio 2; Running Spy 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 4; (1-30.9). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 13; 16; 18; Quinella: 41; Tanala: 186. Fav: Border Bounty (8).

2. Indus Plate 1,200m: (2-9-8) Dancer�s Dream (Shakti) 1; Soldier Of Fortune 2; Another Crown 3. Won by: 1-1/4; SH; (1-17).Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 14; 16; 13; Quinella: 72; Tanala: 191. Fav: Dancer�s Dream (2).

3. Davangere Cup 1,400m: (7-4-3) Amazing Choice (Narasimha) 1; Whattagril 2; Bank Of Promise 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 3-1/4; (1-28.9). Tote: Win Rs 419; Place: 69; 18; 26; Quinella: 771; Tanala: 86,950 (C.o). Fav: Three To Count (8).

4. Dharmaprakasha M. V. Veerappa Memorial Plate 1,200m: (11-6-5) Dragon (Gallagher) 1; Machrie Bay 2; Acceptor 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/2; (1-15). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 18; 24; 18; Quinella: 141; Tanala: 466. Fav: Dragon (11).

5. Jayanagar Plate 1,400m: (6-2-10) Royal Movements (Shakti) 1; Southern Host 2; Tino 3. Won by: 4-3/4; 3-1/4; (1-30.8). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 13; 20; 16; Quinella: 92; Tanala: 475. Fav: Royal Movements (6).

6. March Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (3-9-2) Star Of Gaiety (Prakash) 1; Dover 2; If Looks Could Kill 3. Won by: 2-1/4; Nk; (1-29.8). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 21; 19; Quinella: 47; Tanala: 139. Fav: Star Of Gaiety (3).

Jackpot: Rs 68,808; (C) Rs 20,642.

Treble: (i) Rs 2,360; (ii) Rs 198.

Calcutta, March 16: 
The following is the pick of the track work noted here today morning.

Outer sand track

800m: Pistol Star (Shanker) and Don Vittorio (G. Singh) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s. They were level.

Sand track

1,400m: Alborada (Gurang) and Regency Times (A. Imran) in 1-45s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better. Both were easy. Highland Flame (Gurang) in 1-47s; (800m) 1-2s; (400m) 31s. Easy. Beau Bruno (Brij) and Maltayar (A. Imran) in 1-49s; (800m) 1-1s; (400m) 31s. They were level.

800m: Almond Rock (Som S.) in 1-1s; (400m) 32s. Fit. Cup Of Life (Tamang) and Adeline (Rb) in 1-1s; (400m) 30s. Former was a length better. Lady Shirley (Khalander) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Moved well.

On Thursday,outer sand track

1,600m: High Life (M. Reuben) in 2-1s; (800m) 58s; (400m) 29s. They were level and they moved well.

1,400m: Arterial (C. Alford) and Aherlow (Rb) in 1-47s; (800m) 1-1s; (400m) 31s. They were level. Both moved well.

1,200m: Athletico (C. Alford) in 1-35s; (800m) 1-4s; (400m) 33s.

800m: On The Bit (Yadav) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Fit. Finders Keepers (Khalander) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Madame X (Upadhya) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Handy. Lovely Duchess (Yadav) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Easy.

Sand track

1,600m: Falconaire (Rb) in 1-59s; (800m) 58s; (400m) 28s.

800m: Pneumatic Power (Som S.) and Maltayar (A. Imran) in 1-0s; (400m) 30s. They were level and were easy.    


Maintained by Web Development Company