Former champion Indian Railways put up a ruthless display on the opening day of the 94th MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup All-India hockey tournament here on Thursday, with a 9-1 rout of Central Secretariat in a Group-A match. Former India forward Yuvraj Walmiki, struck four goals.
Earlier, in a Group-B contest, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu (HUTN) and CAG played out a 1-1 draw.
Railways crushed the hopes of its opponent pretty much in the first two quarters by scoring five goals with Yuvraj scoring three of them.
Pratap Lakra opened the floodgates as early as in the fourth minute with a fierce penalty corner strike that hit the left side of the roof. Four more goals followed in a matter of 13 minutes and it looked like Secretariat would have little or no chance and it stayed that way till the last minute.
In the HUTN-CAG clash, both the teams were initially wary of each other, and it took a while — till the second quarter — for the teams’ to get the hang of the other’s game.
TN, comprising mostly youngsters, played well within itself, and its defence appeared rock solid for the most part. CAG gradually picked up speed in the second half, with some aggression from its midfield and forwards.
HUTN was the first off the blocks when M. Dhanush deflected one off a penalty corner strike by Sahil in the second quarter. CAG equalised through a fine backhander by Abharan Sudev in the third quarter.
The results: HUTN 1 (M. Dhanush) drew with CAG 1 (Abharan Sudev); Indian Railways 9 (Yuvraj Valmiki 4, Pratap Lakra 2, Sheshe Gowda, Deepak, Gursahibijit Singh) bt Central Secretariat 1 (Hassan Basha).