Coach Marzban 'Bawa' Patel's Our Lady of Dolours school boys shock St Andrew's Jr College 2-0 to win Mumbai Division final of DSO's under-17 Nehru Cup hockey title
Tikaram Thakulla was the hero for Our Lady Of Dolours High School (Marine Lines) yesterday. The 15-year-old defender scored two goals to help his school, representing Mumbai city, register a shock 2-0 win over St Andrew's Junior College (Bandra), representing Mumbai suburbs, to clinch the Mumbai Division of the U-17 Nehru Cup hockey tournament at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium, Churchgate yesterday.
Our Lady of Dolours (Marine Lines) boys with coach Marzban Patel after winning DSO's U-17 Nehru Cup Mumbai Division final at MHA-Mahindra Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Less than 48 hours ago, St Andrew's had beaten MMK Jr College (Bandra) 2-0 to qualify for the District Sports Office (DSO) U-17 Mumbai Division final, but little did they know that they would be beaten by a much younger school outfit in the summit clash. After a goalless first half, Tikaram opened the scoring for Dolours in the 27th minute off a penalty corner. The Class X student scored his second goal two minutes later off a tap-in from close range.
Dolours' coach Marzban Patel popularly known as 'Bawa' and who also runs the Bombay Republicans club, admitted he was surprised by his team's performance. "I did not expect my boys to beat St Andrew's because there is a vast difference between the sheer strength of the players of both teams. The college boys are much bigger and stronger than these school lads. But my boys played fearlessly, because we had nothing to lose being the underdogs. It's a huge achievement for this team," said Patel.
Tikaram credited his coach's half-time pep talk for the win. "Sir told us to pass the ball around more and attack more. We did just that in the second half and it worked," said Tikaram. Meanwhile, St Andrew's boys were distraught. Director of Sports Ram More however, preferred to remain calm. "Our boys gave their best, but Dolours were a better side. Our striker Cletus D'Mello, who scored both goals against MMK in the suburban final, could not play today due to a knee injury. We missed his services dearly," said More.