Hockey India League: Delhi Waveriders stun Ranchi Rays 7-4, reignite hopes for a play-off berth

Delhi Waveriders and Ranchi Rays in action 2New Delhi: Delhi Waveriders stunned defending Champions Ranchi Rays defeating them 7-4 in a hard fought battle in the 4th Coal India Hockey India League today. The hosts who won their first home match after losing four consecutive matches reignited their hopes in the tournament of getting a berth in the play-offs to be played at Ranchi on 20th and 21s tFebruary 2016.

An excellent forward line along with some critical and scintillating saves from Devon Manchester on Thursday ensured the Waveriders managed a convincing victory over table toppers and defending Champions Ranchi Rays. 

With this win the Delhi Waveriders now move to the fifth place in the points table with 22 points to their kitty from nine games. Ranchi Rays still lead the points tally with 27 points to their kitty.

The match began on an attacking note with Delhi Waveriders pressing hard to score. The hosts seemed beaming with energy as most of the game was happening around the Ranchi Rays circle. Continuous attacks led to the home team’s first success in the 7th minute through Mandeep Singh’s field goal giving the Delhi Waveriders an early 2-0 lead. Delhi Waveriders who seemingly entered the game to win, did not settle down post this and kept on attacking and entering the opponents circle in quick successions. One such move yielded results in the 13th minute when the Waveriders were awarded a penalty corner and Talvinder Singh made no errors in converting it giving the home team a comfortable 3-0 lead. The defending Champions Ranchi Rays were left stunned post these two goals and tried hard to reorganise themselves as the first quarter came to an end with Delhi Waveriders leading 3-0.

The second quarter was no different as the hosts kept on pressing hard and struck for the third time in the 19th minute with a field goal through Talvinder Singh giving the hosts a massive lead of 5-0 in the first half. Ranchi Rays who so far looked stunned at the games progress finally started making some moves but were unable to break through the host’s defensive line as the first half came to an end with Delhi Waveriders leading 5-0.

The Delhi Waveriders who looked determined to add more goals to their score started the second half on an attacking note, but Ranchi Rays by now had collected themselves and their defence line played true to their reputation foiling many attempts to score from the hosts. The visitors finally achieved success through a much needed field goal from Captain Ashley Jackson in the 35th minute taking the score to 5-2 still in favour of Delhi Waveriders.

The Waveriders who seemed hungry for more managed to add one more to their goal list as Mandeep Singh scored his second goal of the day in the 42nd minute giving the hosts a strong 7-2 lead in the game. Ranchi Rays tried hard to score on the counter but Devon Manchester made some beautiful saves for the Waveriders as the third quarter came to an end with the score board reading 7-2 in their favour.

The final quarter began with Ranchi Rays playing to score but the Delhi Waveriders seemed in top form stopping all the attempts to score from the visitors. Ranchi finally found success in the 50th minute through a field goal from Trent Mitton taking the score to 7-4 still in the favour of Delhi Waveriders. The match came to an end with Delhi Waveriders winning the match 7-4 against defending Champions Ranchi Rays.

The Coal India Goal of the Match award of INR 50,000 was presented by GK Vashisht, General Manager Marketing, Coal India Limited to Ranchi Rays Captain Ashley Jackson while Delhi WaveridersTalvinder Singh walked away with the Most Entertaining Player of the Match award. Delhi Waveriders Devon Manchester was given the Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 while his team mate Mandeep Singh won the Hero Emerging Player of the Match award of INR 25,000.

The next match of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Dabang Mumbai H.C. and Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Mumbai on the 12th February 2016.