Delhi beat champs Rays in a thriller

Delhi Waveriders finally got their act together as they registered a thrilling 7-4 triumph over Ranchi Rays in the Hockey India League at the Shivaji Stadium on Monday.

The win was Waveriders’ first on their new home turf this season and kept them in the race to make it to the knockouts, for now. It also shot them to the fifth position from the bottom while Ranchi maintained their hold on the top.

Waveriders had their task cut out. They faced a must-win match against Ranchi and came all guns blazing. They dominated the first two quarters with their fast, relentless raids and creative moves before facing the familiar dip in the intensity in the final quarters.

Ashley Jackson (35th minute) and Trent Mitton (50) made the most of it by scoring brilliant field goal apiece but Waveriders managed to hold on to their lead to see another day. They now need to beat Kalinga Lanc­ers in their final league match.

For the hosts, Mandeep Singh (7th, 42nd) and Talwinder Singh (13th, 19th) scored a brace but it was goalkeeper Devon Manchester who stood out with his spectacular saves to deservedly win the man of the match award.

Mandeep opened the Waveriders’ account with a brilliant stickwork, completing an accurate pass from Iain Lewers. Talwinder swelled the lead by first converting a penalty corner variation, scoring off the rebound, and six minutes later giving perfect finish to the concoction of Simon Child and Benjamin Stanzl. 

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