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Murugappa Cup - IOC stamp their class in final
FINAL FLOURISH: IOC forward Deepak Thakur taps into an open goal  
Chennai: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) came up with a picture-perfect performance as they outclassed Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) 6-4 in the final to retain the Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium here on Sunday.

It was an exhibition of organized passing backed by watertight defence that helped IOC hit top gear right from the onset. The champion side was on the offensive in the seventh minute as skipper Deepak Thakur cashed in on teammate Rosan Minz’s shot which rebounded off IOB goalie PR Sreejesh.
IOB missed a golden opportunity to open their account as Adam Sinclair failed to collect a pass from Mangal Kispotta at the right flank in the 13th minute. Two minutes later, IOB made a mess of another chance, this time failing to convert a penalty-corner as Rupinderpal Singh’s shot sailed over IOC’s goal post.
VR Ragunath’s electric pass from the left flank was put to good use by Prabhjot Singh as IOC took a crucial 2-0 lead in the 19th minute. Five minutes later, Deepak scored his second goal as IOC raced to a 3-0 lead.
With just over two minutes to go for half-time, Prabhjot produced yet another gem to swell the scoreline to 4-0.
Right after the breather, IOB saw another chance go down the drain as V Shanmugam failed to read the pass arriving from MK Muddappa at the right flank. IOB made use of a penalty-corner to score their first goal in the 45th minute, courtesy Rupinderpal Singh. But IOC hit right back, making it 5-1 as Deepak converted Hamza’s long pass from the right flank.
Rupinderpal, in the 53rd minute, converted a penaltystroke to give IOB their second goal of the night. However, Prabhjot’s clinical strike in the 55th minute made it 6-2 in favor of IOC.
But the home team was not ready to give up. In the 60th minute, SM Rafeeq scored the third goal for IOB and Amardeep Ekka struck another one soon after, making it an intriguing last five minutes. But IOC held fort and took the trophy.

RESULT: IOC 6 (Deepak Thakur 7, 24,48; Prabhjot Singh 19, 33,55) bt IOB 4 (Rupinderpal Singh 45, 53; SM Rafeeq 60; Amardeep Ekka 65)
Player of the tournament: VR Raghunath (IOC)