Goa leg was crucial: Manoranjan
Bagan coast to title
Sourav to play P. Sen Trophy
CESC on top despite draw with CC & FC
Mullick knocks out seventh seed
Ootacamund Racing/ Majestic Style wins main event

Calcutta, May 2: 
With assembly elections round the corner, East Bengal�s formal felicitation of their triumphant National Football League (NFL) squad may have to wait a while. But there�s lot to do at the red-and-gold camp these days than just wait for the function day.

Today, the arrival of the coach and five members of the team sent officials and fans there into delirium. Champagne corks popped, rosogollas made the rounds, red abir found its way to all foreheads.

With Dipendu Biswas, Omolaja Olalekan, Dipankar Roy, Sangram Mukherjee and Falguni Dutta at the centre of celebrations, Manoranjan Bhattacharya wrenched away from it all to reflect on East Bengal�s first NFL success.

Deflecting all praise to the team and describing his job as �essentially that of a man trying to keep the players fit and fighting as a team�, the East Bengal coach said their first set of matches in Goa was where it all really began.

�My experiences as a coach at three editions of the NFL is that the Goa leg is a particularly difficult one. When we came back with three points from our early trip (two matches in Goa, one in Mumbai), I thought, may be, we could do it this year. The win over Mohun Bagan in the first leg, convinced me we would,� he said.

He spoke of his lingering problems with the strikers� berths, but a strong defence allowed him to protect goals whenever he got one. �It didn�t always make for exciting soccer but it was effective,� he said.

While conceding that this triumph will have established him as a coach, Manoranjan pointed out that he was doing nothing new. �If we had slipped at the last hurdle, would I have become a different person?� he asked. �I�ve never spent a period of such tension as these last four months. I�m not going to even think of football for some time,� he quipped.

Omolaja touched a special chord in the crowd, and he knew why. �I was supposed to come last season, and I�m happy the club remembered me. I�m happy I could repay that back by scoring in two crucial matches � against Mohun Bagan (first leg) and now two goals in the must-win last match.�

Dipendu, who has been in winning squads twice before (with Mohun Bagan), said this was more satisfying. �The last two times the finish was not so tight,� he said, adding: �And, of course, I had a lot to prove this time on the individual front.�


Calcutta, May 2: 
Mohun Bagan, champions of four top CAB titles last season, ended the drought this season when they beat Kalighat Club by a whopping 130 runs in the J.C. Mukherjee Trophy final today.

Overnight 297 for eight in 75 overs, the defending champions finished on 334 for nine, which included the 16 runs they gained as penalties when Kalighat fell two overs short in the stipulated time. Laxmi Ratan Shukla used the long handle well, hitting two sixes in a quick unbeaten 18.

Kalighat were dismissed for 204 in the 74th over despite an opening stand of 88 between Humza Firozie (57) and Manoj Roy (39). Spinners Utpal Chatterjee, Vishal Yadav and Madhusudan Acharya picked up three wickets each.

Arindam Das of Wari Athletic Club ended up as the tournament�s highest run-getter (478) and Kalighat�s Sanjib Sanyal was the highest wicket-taker (13).

BRIEF SCORES: Mohun Bagan (overnight 297/8) 334 for 9 (80 overs). Kalighat Club 204 (75.3 overs) (Humza Firozie 57, Manoj Roy 39, Timir Chanda 34, Murtaza Lodhgar 30 n.o.; Vishal Yadav 3/44, Utpal Chatterjee 3/45, Madhusudan Acharya 3/53). Mohun Bagn won by 130 runs.

Shukla showcause

Laxmi Ratan Shukla has replied to the show cause notice served by the CAB following his on-field antics following a run-out during the knockout final (not league semi-final as reported yesterday). �We will place it at the cricket committee meeting that is coming up� is all CAB joint-secretary Debdas Banerjee was willing to disclose.    

Calcutta, May 2: 
Sourav Ganguly is set to turn out in the local season-ending P. Sen Trophy tournament that begins tomorrow at the Eden Gardens. The India skipper, who had expressed his desire to play, has been asked to give a written request because the two CAB teams have already been selected.

He will turn out for the CAB President�s XI, who open their campaign with a match against Mohun Bagan on Friday.

The knockout meet ends on May 12, a day before India�s preparatory camp for the Zimbabwe tour begins in Bangalore.

CAB under-19 meet

Albany Hall, Naktala HS, Bhowanipore Gujarati Education Society and New Alipore Multipurpose won their matches at the CAB U-19 inter-school meet today.


At East Calcutta DSC: Albany Hall 166 in 39.1 ovs (Abhishek Saha 36). St Augustine 70 in 19.1 ovs (Saswata Sanyal 20; Asif Nayeem 4/11, Haider Ali 4/33). Albany Hall won by 96 runs.

At Calcutta University: Jodhpur Park Boys 170 in 35.5 ovs (Arghya Chatterjee 32). Naktala HS 171/4 in 32.5 ovs (Indrajyoti Saha 38, Subhajit Chakraborty 32 n.o.). Naktala HS won by 6 wkts.

At Northern Park: Bhowanipore Gujrati Education Society 280 in 37.1 ovs (Sandip Bihani 108, Chandan Pradhan 39, Ravi Chagiani 34; Sandip Bhattachrya 3/46). Calcutta Boys� 218 in 33.1 ovs (Anindo Bhattacharya 60, Partha Sarathi Kundu 56, Prinam Dutta 33; Vikram Seth 3/46). Bhowanipore won by 62 runs.

At Deshbandhu Park: New Alipore Multipurpose 275/7 in 40 ovs (Santadeep Paul 86, Siddhartha Mukherjee 71, Anindya Das 44; Samudranil Sircar 4/43). Ballygunge Government HS 209/8 in 40 ovs (Samudranil 47 n.o., Avik Dutta 45, Abhishek Paul 33; Subhankar Mukherjee 3/26). New Alipore won by 6 runs.


Calcutta, May 2: 
Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) stayed marginally ahead in the race for the BHA League first division group A title when they drew goalless with CC&FC at the latters� ground today.

That was despite East Bengal beating Calcutta Port Trust (CPT) 2-1 in another match Wednesday.

The teams are now on 20 points each from 11 matches, but CESC have scored 30 goals (five conceded), against East Bengal�s 23 (eight conceded). Calcutta Customs are third with 18 from 12 matches.

At the East Bengal ground, the home team went ahead in the 16th minute when Gregory Minz sounded the boards. Port struck back 14 minutes later when R.R. Das connverted a penalty corner. East Bengal got the winner a minute after change of sides when Shamsher Singh scored.

Lakra hattrick for FCI

Chittranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) were no match for FCI at the Mohun Bagan gorund. FCI won 4-1, with R. Lakra scoring a hattrick. G. Singh got the other. Sushil Minz reduced the margin.

In group B, Khalsa Blues beat Calcutta Rangers 1-0, with Hardeep Singh scoring.


Calcutta, May 2: 
The Bharat Petroleum state mini and sub-junior tennis championships organised by Ad-Out Sports at the South Club today lost its seventh seed in the boys� under-16 category.

Arup Mullick beat seventh seed Farid Alam 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 in the first round and then beat Suman Debnath of Assam 6-0. 6-2 in the second round to reach the quarter finals.

Akshay Bajoria also reached the quarters, with a 3-6, 6-2, 2-0 (retired) win over Assam�s Harsha P. Deka. Deka won the first set but fell victim to the heat and could not manage to ward off Bajoria.

Fourth seed Hina Valecha and eight-year-old eighth seed Madhurima Chaudhuri also went out of the meet in the girls� under-14 category. Valecha lost to Parna Das of Assam 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 0-6, while Chaudhuri lost to Micah Muhuri of Bihar 1-6, 0-6.

Women�s basketball

Rakhi Sangha beat Barisha AC 36-10 in their women�s open basketball league match. S. Saha was the highest scorer for Rakhi Sangha (12 points) and S. Biswas got nine for the losers.    

Ootacamund, May 2: 
The Fahad Khan-trained seven-year-old Majestic Style claimed the Lake View Plate, the main event, at the Ootacamund (Udhagamandalam) races held on Wednesday. A. Imran Khan partnered the winner.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Selas Plate 1,600m: (1-3-2) San Marino (A. Imran) 1; Bold Gold 2; Red Jacket 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-45.7). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 14; 14; 27; Quinella: 88; Tanala: 355. Fav: San Marino (1).

2. Rose Mount Plate 1,400m: (2-9-10) Green Bench (Kariappa) 1; Harmony Dove 2; Creator 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 1/2; (1-31.1). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 37; 13; Quinella: 129; Tanala: 411. Fav: Green Bench (2).

3. Santhala Plate 1,200m: (12-6-9) Pearl Of India (A. Imran) 1; Valuable Boy 2; Sea Horse 3. Won by: 1-1/4; Nk; (1-16.1). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 13; 16; 23; Quinella: 44; Tanala: 470. Fav: Pearl Of India (12).

4. Welbeck Plate 1,200m: (3-15-14) Regal Charmer (Kariappa) 1; Swing Till Dawn 2; Pretty Pebbles 3. Not run: Cool Prospect (8) & Andretti (12). Won by: Hd; 3/4; (1-17.2). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 13; 238; 34; Quinella: 1,480; Tanala: 15,700 (C.o). Fav: Regal Charmer (3).

5. Lake View Plate 1,400m: (6-10-1) Majestic Style (A. Imran) 1; Rebounding Flame 2; Break The Silence 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 47; Place: 17; 11; 16; Quinella: 46; Tanala: 266. Fav: Rebounding Flame (10). (Note: Majestic Style won following a successful objection against the original winner Rebounding Flame).

6. Bandipur Plate 1,400m: (6-7-5) Oracle King (Kariappa) 1; Dakshin Red 2; Bold Aristocrat 3. Note run: Special Star (1). Won by: 2-1/4; 1-3/4; (1-29.1). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 26; 17; Quinella: 90; Tanala: 271. Fav: Oracle King (6).

7. Theppakadu Plate 1,400m: (4-2-9) Dyanamic Girl (Hesnain) 1; Passionate Queen 2; China Girl 3. Won by: 2; 2; (1-30.5). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 19; 15; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 188. Fav: Dyanamic Girl (4).

Jackpot: Rs 7,036; (C) Rs 681.

Treble: (i) Rs 241; (ii) Rs 864.

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