East Bengal rally to beat JCT
East Bengal rout Mohanlal
Arka Mondal has it easy
National archery inaugurated
AITA meet starts Monday
Bangalore Racing/ Augill Castle may be hard to beat
Calcutta Racing/ Alamito impresses
Race Review/ Three trainers hogged limelight

Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
Down by a Hardip Saini goal till the 35th minute, East Bengal struck back with Omolaja Olalekan and Dipendu Biswas to earn a none-too-impressive victory over JCT, Phagwara, in their National Football League encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium here today.

Today�s match put the league title-holders back on the winning track after a series of insipid outings which included a defeat at the hands of Mohun Bagan and a goalless draw versus Mahindra. However, Mohun Bagan�s defeat today at HAL boosts East Bengal�s chances of an early catch-up with the current league leaders.

Today�s match was singularly dull. There was little by way of game-making on either side, and even less by way of adventurism. The general East Bengal dominance was there, with Bijen Singh and Omolaja putting up a decent enough show till the JCT defensive third, following which they seemed to be losing their way. In the sixth minute that combination saw Omolaja move into off-side position before heading in.

The delays had JCT sneak up an attack in the 21st minute and the East Bengal defence was, as usual, unprepared. Once into the defensive third, Saini spotted a rather large gap and let go a 20-yard volley that took to the netting. Goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee had charged up too early and failed to intercept.

That put the entire East Bengal team on notice and pressure was mounted. In the 26th minute, a Bijen pass was redirected goalwards by Omolaja, and �keeper Arvind Kumar was also out of charge. But in the scramble, the shot was weak and JCT�s Ranjit Singh made a fine goalline save.

Stephen Abarowei was a disappointment today. He has slowed down considerably from his heydays on the Calcutta Maidan and was not even suitable for the game-making advanced medio role that was made for him. He moved up on his own to the attack line, and then found no ally for the necessary feed.

Similar was the case with I.M. Vijayan on the other side. He has virtually lost all his wily abilities whether at the goalmouth or in midfield. He has lost his game-making abilities, and even the basic urge and sense of urgency to do so. Unwanted passengers on the teams.

The equaliser came off one of those numerous East Bengal attacks. This time it was from the left, with Dipankar Roy pushing the initiative into the goal area. Dipankar�s shot was a medium-range, medium-pace grounder and eminently stoppable. But it crossed JCT defender Balkar Singh without Balkar even wanting to stretch a leg. From the goalmouth, Omolaja chipped home quickly.

Vijayan was taken off early in the second half, but was 61 minutes too late for the halfline to function decently. Coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya has to rethink his strategy vis-�-vis this had-been superstar.

The winner came in the 23rd minute of the second half when Isiaka moved into the box and chipped to the goalmouth. Dipendu Biswas, in at the 45th minute, headed in well. The way he exulted thereafter, of course seemed he had done an international star turn.

More East Bengal misses followed, but Isiaka also earned his second booking, putting him out of East Bengal�s next match here, versus Churchill Brothers.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee, Falguni Dutta, Suley Musah, Jackson Egygopong, Ratan Singh, Isiaka Awoemi, I.M. Vijayan (Chandan Das, 61), Anit Ghosh, Dipankar Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 45), Omolaja Olalekan, Bijen Singh (Tushar Rakshit, 80).

JCT: Arvind Kumar, Rajit Singh, Pawan Kumar, Balkar Singh, Daljit Singh, Stephen Abarowei (Sukhjit Singh, 75), Hardip Saini, Ram Pal Singh, Hardip Sanga (Jaswant Singh, 62), Harvinder Singh Jr (Jaspreet Singh, 46), Hardip Gill.

Referee: J Ravishankar (Delhi).


Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
East Bengal scripted a 237-run victory over Mohanlal Club in the CAB senior league today.


East Bengal 372/6. Mohanlal Club 135 (Arindam Ganguly 38; Subir Dey 3/17, Sourashish Lahiri 3/24). East Bengal won by 237 runs.

Rangers Club 259. Kumartuli Institute 263/5 (Satyaki Bhatt 55, Biswajit Singh 51 n.o.; Nasim Ali 3/107). Kumartuli won by 5 wkts.

Burnpur 240. Tapan Memorial 242/3 (Satyen Bhattacharya 86 n.o.; Ranabir Nath 57). Tapan Memorial won by 7 wkts.

Aikya Sammilani 190. Young Bengal 191/6 (Sudip Mitra 50 n.o.; D. Yadav 4/76). Young Bengal won by 4 wkts.

Milan Samity 135. ABP Sports Club 138/3 (Sukamol Ganguly 62). ABP won by 7 wkts.

Wari AC 373/6. Shyambazar Club 212 (Rakesh Krishnan 55; Koushik Bhattacharya 4/81, Ranadeb Bose 3/56). Wari AC won by 161 runs.

N Kalighat Club 371/8. Town Club 256/5 (Sohom Chowdhury 52). Match drawn.

Avenue in semis

Avenue Sammilani beat Bidhannagar Sports Academy 3-1 to enter the semis of the U-16 inter-coaching camp football meet today. Rajib Ghosh, Sushanta Das and Shankar Oraon scored for Avenue while Jyotirmoy Nandi reduced the margin.


Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
Boys� under-18 top seed Arka Mondal of Bengal had little trouble beating Samrat Ghosh (6-1, 6-3) in their Adhip Mukerjea Memorial tennis meet at the Jaidip Mukerjea Tennis Academy today, but girls� under-18 top seed Lata Assudani had to sweat it out (7-5, 6-2) versus eighth seed Varsha Dutta.


Boys� U-18: Arka Mondal, N. Kiran Kumar, Jitin Bishnoi.

Girls� U-18: Lata Assudani, Priyanka Parekh, Shivaki Burman.

Boys� U-16: Rupesh Roy, Anshuman Dutta, Karan Dhillon.

Girls� U-16: Reenu Tayabur, Neha Rana, Shilpi Dalmia.

East India junior golf

Harinder Gupta of Chandigarh is leading the A groupers at the Mayor East India junior/sub-junior golf meet at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club today with a fine one-under second round.

He is followed closely by Jaskirat Dullet who had an even par round today. Local youngster Ranjit Singh played a one over round.


Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
The 22nd national archery championship was inaugurated by the Archery Association of India president Vijay Malhotra at the Gun and Shell Factory�s Cossipore Seven Tanks Estate today.

The three-day meet will showcase the talents of archers from 25 states and union territories and includes such big names as Limba Ram of Rajasthan and Mizoram�s Lalremsanga who is representing Jharkhand.


Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
Over 300 players will be in action at the West Coast Paper-sponsored AITA junior championships at the South Club from Monday.

The six-day meet will have four events � under-18 and under-16 singles for boys and girls. The meet will attract players from four zones of the country, lending it a national tag. Chatwinder Singh and Ragini Vimal are top seeds among under-18 boys and girls, respectively. The trophies in honour of Amit Chaturvedi, former state champion, who passed away early this year.


Bangalore, Dec. 27: 
Augill Castle, a good second in each of his last starts over 1,400m,may be hard to toss in the Ardent Knight Cup, a mile race, tomorrow. A. Imran Khan partners the B. Puttanna-trained four-year-old.


2.30 pm: Prince Valiant 1. Forest Prince 2. Siberean 3.

3 pm: Power Extreme 1. Franco Leone 3. Charente 3.

3.30 pm: In A Flash 1. Triple King 2. So Thrilled 3.

4 pm: Augill Castle 1. Desert Gold 2. Crystal Sky 3.

4.30 pm: Machrie Bay 1. Soviet Bay 2. Financer 3.

5 pm: National Tiger 1. Agronomist 2. Rush 3.

5.30 pm: Psychedelic 1. Whitehall 2. Alisa 3.

Day�s Best: Augill Castle

Double: In A Flash & Machire Bay


Calcutta, Dec. 27: 
Alamito, Classic Pursuit, Rescue Act and Mack The Knife were impressive from among the following horses worked today:

Outer sand track

2,000m: Arterial (Gowli) in 2-42s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

1,800m: Alamito (C. Alford) and Classic Pursuit (Rabani) in 2-11s; (400m) 30s. Latter joined at 1,400m and finished a length better. Former was pushed.

1,400m: Mack The Knife (Rutherford) and Estocade (Upadhya) in 1-38s; (400m) 29s. Latter joined at 800m to finish level. Both moved well.

1,200m: Rescue Act (Islam) and Cruel Intention (Rabani) in 1-26s; (400m) 31s. Former was a distance better. Yukon (Engineer) in 1-25s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Annotate (Rabani) and Victory Rose (Islam) in 1-29s; (400m) 29s. Former was a distance better.

800m: Abyssinia (Islam) and So Proud (Rabani) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Flamebird (Gowli) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Was handy. Countach (Dalpat) and Blessed Spirit (Jaiswal) in 55s; (400m) 28s. They finished level and moved well. Sea Royale (C. Alford) and Aflatun (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Former was 4 ls better. Note former. Heaven�s Blessing (G. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Smart Ruler (Upadhya) and Royal Command (Connorton) in 1-1s; (400m) 31s. Former was a distance better. Jeypore (G. Singh) and Dancing Rhythm (Shanker) in 57s; (400m) 29s. They finished together. Both were Unextended.

Sand track

1,400m:. Bird�s Empire (Upadhya) in 1-39s; (400m) 26s. Good. Sagittarian (Rutherford) in 1-40s; (400m) 31s. Easy.

800m: Lady Shirley (Engineer) in 53s; (400m) 27s.

600m: Anokato (Connorton) and Arctic Fancy (B. Gurang) in 41s. (400m) 26s. Former was a length better. Note former.

On Wednesday, outer sand track

1,400m: Splendid King (A. P. Singh) in 1-51s; (400m) 31s.

1,200m: Antequera (C. Alford) in 1-35s; (400m) 30s. Went easy.

800m: Lucifer (Dalpat) and Madame X (Upadhya) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Former was far better.

600m: Pretty Boy Floyd (Rutherford) in 41s; (400m) 27s. Moved easy.

Mock race after the last race

Race grass

1,200m: Assertive Dancer (Connorton) and Bold Apparel (Asghar) in 1-18s; (400m) 27s. Former was a neck better.

On Tuesday, outer sand track

1,600m: Mack The Knife (Rutherford) in 1-56s; (400m) 29s. Good.


For the second consecutive week the focus at the RCTC raceground was on trainers other than Vijay Singh. If Daniel David took the centrestage last week, it was the turn of Bharath Singh and the likes of lesser fortunate schoolers Asfands and Karkis to evenly share the Boxing Day�s six-event card. With Vijay making a habit of carving trebles and quadruples, small trainers hardly get to lead-in winners leave alone saddling a braces of wins.

Of course, Vijay�s interest in the day�s card was simply a token one � Abroach and Actress � and his wards performed creditably, albeit without winning luck. Bharath had, on the other hand, targeted the feature event, the 1,400m Army Cup that his stable-fancy Alcalde won with a degree of comfort, thanks to trainer�s stable-jockey Rabani who gave a bumpy ride to the yard-mate Lockers Park. The fact is that Locker Park is normally made to gallop on the wide out up in the stretch, Rabani for reasons best known to him decided to seek the narrow passage along the rails thus landing himself in trouble.

Nevertheless, Alcalde, a 2-1 second favourite, won the Class I race at his own terms. In a fast run race, Cristopher Alford let the Rebounding Thrill-Nimble colt just keep his neck in front of Beneficent and Amusing as the Daniel�s duo tried in earnest to upset the rhythm of the three-year-old. It was in the home stretch that the champion jockey broke free with a three-length lead that simply helped his cause as the Bangalore-based jockey Harish appeared to be struggling to make the favourite Soviet Song move up from the fifth berth rounding the final turn.

The Bold Russian-Palace Music filly, kown best for her exploits over shorter sprints, however, found the task at hand a difficult one, though the Darius Byramji-trainee did manage to come within two lengths of the winner, leaving Lockers Park further two and quarter lengths to cover. Bharath had earlier in the day saddled a well-handicapped Sadaf, the fluent winner of the Harvest Star Handicap.

Equally enterprising was the victory of Set Aside over Among Men and Abraoch in the 2,000m General A. S. Vaidya Memorial Cup. More so because, the Steinbeck-Troise Etoile filly was partnered by an apprentice who was relatively new to the distance races. The limited riding experience in the past over the staying trips did come handy for the young boy but winning opportunities had eluded him. Rutherford displayed matured head of a season jockey while settling the even-money favourite in fourth till about the final turn even as Among Men and Abroach were threatened to decide the outcome of the race between themselves.

Making his customary move along the rails he brought the four-year-old in the thick of the things nearing the distance-post and walked past the leaders after a brief contest.

The 6-10 hot-property Silver Toy, however, gave anxious moments to Asfand, the former Rashid Byramji deputy. Instructed to practice waiting tactics, Robert Gowli not only overdid his bit he also brought the Steinbeck-Silver Chimes filly eight-wide at the turn thus making it a touch and go affair while Immaculate dictated the terms upfront and looked like pulling off the most sensational upset of the year.

Karki pulled of a lucrative double through Castle Moon, one of his new acquisition from the west, and a reliable Black Mane.


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