Chautala (Haryana): Defending champions Railways and Kerala scored contrasting victories over their respective rivals in menís second round of the 51st senior national volleyball championship here Monday.
Railways made a scratchy start before carving out a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 victory over Madhya Pradesh. Kerala was more convincing as they got the better of last editionís fourth place finishers Karnataka 25-15, 25-16, 25-15.
Bengal men were defeated in the second round by Jharkhkand in group C, but the stateís women got the better of Uttar Pradesh in their second round (group A) tie.
The Jharkhand men won 25-16, 27-25, 28-26, while the Uttar Pradesh women lost 7-25, 15-25, 9-25.
Railways, mostly comprising players from south, seemed yet to get accustomed to the colder climes of the north. The players lacked co-ordination and failed to strike an early rhythm.
Their success was made possible by the experienced international players Kapil Dev and Ravikant who guided the team out of the hole they often got stuck into.
MP, knowing well that they had nothing to lose against the top team, put their everything into the match.
The first game saw Railways make elementary errors like getting the line calls wrong, wild spiking and poor set-play at the net. At 19-18, the Railways coach was forced to call a time-out. In the second game MP jumped to a 9-3 lead as Salman Khan, debutant M. N. Vikram and Radhashanker combined well at the net to perfectly reproduce some of their rivalsí tricks.
For Kerala, it was a sweet revenge over Karnataka for the quarter final defeat they suffered last year in Raipur.
The battle between the two neighbours was slightly one-sided with Karanataka struggling with their defence.