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Savita Punia leads Hockey Haryana to National title

Savita Punia made three consecutive saves in the final to lead Hockey Haryana to the title of Senior Women National Championship.

Savita Punia leads Hockey Haryana to National title

Hockey Haryana won the 14th Women Senior National Championship by defeating Hockey Maharashtra in the final.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 23 March 2024 5:32 PM GMT

Indian women's hockey team captain Savita Punia continued her national team heroics at the 14th Senior Women National Championship and made three consecutive saves in penalty shootout of final to lead Hockey Haryana to title on Saturday.

Hockey Haryana applied pressure on their opponents right off the blocks, keeping the ball in Hockey Maharashtra’s half for a major part of the first quarter. While Hockey Haryana made a few circle penetrations, no goals were scored as the first quarter ended with the score 0-0.

The second quarter started similarly and Hockey Haryana was awarded a penalty stroke a little over five minutes into the quarter. Rajani Etimarpu, the goalkeeper for the hosts, kept the ball out, much to the delight of the fans at the stadium. Their happiness was short-lived as the leading goal-scorer of the tournament Deepika (26’) converted a penalty corner to put Hockey Haryana in the lead.

An opportunity presented itself to Hockey Haryana to double their lead, but a gritty Hockey Maharashtra defense kept the ball from finding the back of the net. Both teams came close to scoring but neither succeeded as the third quarter ended with Hockey Haryana leading 1-0.

With a little over six minutes left in the game, Hockey Maharashtra found their elusive equalizer with a penalty corner conversion from Akshata Abaso Dhekale (54’), bringing even more excitement into the game. Hockey Haryana was awarded a penalty corner with under two minutes left but failed to score as the game went into a penalty shoot-out with the score reading 1-1.

Navneet Kaur, Usha, and Sonika scored for Hockey Haryana in the shootout while the Indian Women’s Hockey Team and Hockey Haryana’s Captain and goalkeeper Savita made three successive saves as Hockey Haryana clinched the Gold at the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship.

Hockey Jharkhand finishes in third place

In a late afternoon clash, Hockey Jharkhand defeated Hockey Madhya Pradesh 2-0 to ensure they would finish the tournament in third place for the third year in a row. While both teams displayed their goal-scoring prowess throughout the competition, the ensuing encounter was a low-scoring thriller.

Sangita Kumari (3’) broke the deadlock as early as the third minute to give Hockey Jharkhand the lead. Despite various measures, Hockey Madhya Pradesh was unable to find the equalizer. Late in the fourth quarter Ropni Kumar (59’) successfully converted a penalty corner to double the lead and seal the victory for Hockey Jharkhand.

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