Lucky ASC toss out Navy

Keen Tussle: Army Service Corps’ Tarsem Singh (right) and Navy’s Shakruddin vie for the ball in the National BTC Trophy polo tournament in Bangalore on Friday. DH photo

The score was tied at 6-6 after a long encounter between two balanced opponents, forcing the officials to resort to flipping of coin and the metal piece heeded the call of ASC skipper Shakti Rathore. ASC will take on Remount Veterinary Corps and the Navy will play Presidents Body Guards in the semifinals.

Blessed with a star-studded line-up Navy were the favourites, and the early part of the match vindicated the tag. Their attackers moved in swiftly in search of an early lead and the ploy worked within a few minutes. Akhil Sirohi capitalised on a goalmouth melee to snuck the ball through the ASC defenders to inflict the first blow.  ASC’s Abhimanyu Pathak brought a quick end to Navy’s celebrations when he converted a 60-yard penalty to equalise. He soon doubled the lead, converting another 60-yard penalty.

Navy managed to equalise when Simran Shergil broke into a run from the half-line and slotted the ball home just minutes into the second chukker. At 2-2, Navy showed a rush in their approach with Sirohi leading their way. The stout forward moved with great precision and control to help Navy take the lead. His delicate stop shot gave Navy a 3-2 lead, and he extended the lead (4-2) with a powerful shot from his right.

But ASC soon pulled one back courtesy a great run from Prashanth Thakur. In the third chukker, Sirohi made it 5-3, but Tarsem Singh reduced the lead for ASC. Navy went ahead again (6-4) through Sirohi.

Tarsem struck for ASC early in the fourth chukker with a delicate dab to make it 6-5. But his best strike was saved for the last. He pushed his pony down the right wing and then raced past Navy defence to score the equaliser seconds before the final whistle.

Show jumping results: Open: 80 cm: Basavaraj (EIRS) 1; Ajai Appachu (EIRS) 2; Arun Varma (ARPA) 3.

100 cm: Karthik (ECE) 1; Hrishika Basappa (EIRS) 2; Ajay Appachu (EIRS) 3. 105 cm: Aliya Das Gupta (ECE) 1; Gunasekharan (ARPA) 2; Ali Askar Mirza 3.

Under-18: 100 cm: Ajay Virwani (EIRS) 1; Ria Bhushan (ARPA) 2; Basavraj (EIRS) 3.

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