Pakistan News

National Bank down Wapda 3-1 to retain junior hockey title

National Bank down Wapda 3-1 to retain junior hockey title

KARACHI: The second string of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on Friday proved that they are a force to be reckoned with when they thumped Water And Power Development Authority (Wapda) 3-1 in a repeat final to retain their title in the 34th National Junior (under-20) Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Friday.

It is pertinent to mention that the bankers had carved out 2-1 victory over the then defending champions Wapda to recapture the title at the same venue in May last year.

Barring exceptions, the entire event including the semi-finals and final was a testimony of declining standard as it witnessed one-sided games.

The bankers, who outplayed Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) 4-0 in the semi-final, opened their account in the fifth minute through M. Naveed but the lead was short lived as Wapda’s Bilal Mahmood restored parity two minutes after resumption of the second quarter. The bankers mounted pressure forcing second PC in the 27th minute and Aamir Ali did the needful to consolidate his team’s position. Earlier, their first PC went abegging in 16th minute.

In the quest to score equaliser again, Wapda earned three PC’s in a span of 12 minutes but to no avail.

The bankers sealed the fate when Mubashir Ali scored off team’s third PC in the 47th minute. Wapda got yet another chance when they were awarded fourth PC three minutes before the final hooter but in vain.

Earlier, debutant SSGC grabbed third position by getting the better of Punjab “A”2-1 on penalty strokes after playing 3-all draw in the regulation time.

Punjab “A”, which became the only provincial side to make the semis in the presence of departmental outfits, held SSGC to a stalemate that followed penalty strokes. Captain Zeeshan Bokhari slammed twice in the sixth and 58th minutes while Mohammad Rizwan netted once in the 27th minute of stipulated time.

Captain Mohsin Sabir (29th), Ahmed Nadeem (36th) off penalty stroke and Umer Mubashir (37th) off PC scored one goal apiece for the Punjab outfit.

Mohammad Rizwan and Naveed Alam scored off Penalty strokes for the SSGC as against one scored by Mohsin Sabir for Punjab “A”.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Akhtar Rasool, who graced the occasion, awarded the winning trophy to the victorious NBP captain Atiq Arshad amidst applause. Wapda captain Talal Khalid received the runners-up trophy.

PHF secretary Rana Mujahid, chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui, former Olympians Iftikhar Syed, Ayaz Mahmood, Mussadiq Hussain, Qamar Ibrahim, Mohammad Ali, international Safdar Abbas, Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) secretary Mohammad Farooq Khan, Sindh Hockey Association (SHA) secretary Ramzan Jamali were among others who were present on the occasion. The Pakistan Navy band was also in attendance.

The event was organised by the KHA for the second year running.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015

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