Duruelo Convent (Bandra) wrested back the Smt KG Kalantri Cup from defending champions Guru Nanak High School (GTB Nagar) yesterday with a 5-0 win in the final of the girls U-16 knockout tournament at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium.
The win was sweeter for the Bandra school as they had faltered in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association inter-school hockey final to the same opponents for the last two seasons.
The Bandra School took the lead in the second minute itself courtesy centre forward Vishaka Dhuri’s brilliant strike.
In the 11th minute, Diksha Bhosale doubled Duruelo’s lead. Guru Nanak’s goalkeeper Rani Gupta thwarted several attempts from the Bandra team, but with support from her defenders not forthcoming, she let in another goal in the 27th minute when Payal Sawant scored a brilliant field goal. Vaishnavi Rane (37th) and Pranali Patil (42nd) then widened the margin of victory for Duruelo.
Duruelo’s Payal (15) gave credit to her coach, former international player Happy Mann, for the win. “Happy (Mann) ma’am has worked hard on our skills. She is a hard taskmaster. She reaches the ground for practice even before we do. This win wouldn’t have been possible without her hard work and dedication. Guru Nanak is a very good side, but today we played better than them. Last year, we lost against them narrowly in the final,” said Payal.
Duruelo coach Mann was elated that her hard work had finally paid off. “These girls and their families deserve all the credit for this win. We lost to Guru Nanak by a narrow margin for the past two years. I am glad we beat them convincingly today,” she said.
Meanwhile, in the third-place encounter, Carmel of St Joseph (Malad) beat St Joseph Convent (Bandra) 3-2 via tie-breaker after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.
While Lynette Lobo had opened the scoring for Carmel of St Joseph, Jemimah Rodrigues equalised for St Joseph Convent. In the tie-breaker, Althea D’Almeida and Gurleen Birdi found the back of the net for the Malad school, while Neala D’Silva scored for the Bandra side.