A quality performance from U Mumba’s defence helped them beat Bengal Warriors 31-20 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Saturday to take them back to the top of the standings in Zone A.
Bengal Warriors were off to a strong start courtesy of two excellent Back Holds by Right Corner Baldev Singh on both U Mumba raiders - Siddharth Desai and Rohit Baliyan - to give his side a 3-1 lead. A self-out for Fazel Atrachali and Ran Singh’s tackle on Vinod Kumar then left U Mumba with just three men on the mat.
But with the Super Tackle on, U Mumba gambled on Bengal Warriors’ Do-Or-Die raid attempt and it paid off as Surender Singh scored the first Super Tackle of his career with a double Ankle Hold on Maninder Singh to cut down the team’s deficit to just one.
Amit Kumar’s first touch point of the night and Baldev Singh’s third tackle point reduced U Mumba down to just three men yet again before the defence managed another Super Tackle on Maninder Singh to give U Mumba an 8-7 lead in the contest.
Baliyan added two more touch points to his tally a couple of minutes later and Desai emulated his teammate to reduce Bengal Warriors down to just two men on the mat. Ran Singh pinched in a bonus to get his first raid point of the match but was powerless in stopping Desai from getting a touch point on Amit Kumar in the last raid of the half, as the teams headed into the break with U Mumba leading 15-9.
In the very first raid of the second half, U Mumba tackled Ran Singh after allowing him a bonus to inflict the first All-Out of the night on Bengal Warriors and take an eight-point lead in the contest. Surender Singh continued his stellar night against Maninder Singh after that, tackling the raider twice in quick succession, while U Mumba’s raiders continued to chip away with points to ensure that the team maintained their healthy lead.
U Mumba substitute Darshan Kadian came on in the second half and managed to pick off Baldev Singh and Amit Kumar in back-to-back raids to give his side a 12-point advantage.
With just over three minutes left, Maninder Singh picked off U Mumba’s Cover defenders Surender Singh and Rohit Rana in two quick raids as Bengal Warriors attempted to bring their deficit below seven to earn a point from the contest.
But just when the Bengal Warriors’ raiders found some success, up stepped U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali, who had a quiet night up until that point. With two powerful tackles, first on Ravindra Ramesh Kumawat and then on Maninder Singh, he snuffed out any hope that Bengal Warriors had of recovering a point from the game.
Manoj Dhull executed an excellent Ankle Hold on Gaurav Kumar to score the final point of the match, as the clock expired to hand U Mumba a fourth straight victory.