Three exciting matches took place in the Hero Hockey India League at the weekend, with Uttar Pradesh Wizards claiming a win and a draw to move top of the league table while Jamie Dwyer’s Jeypee Punjab Warriors earned their first win of the tournament.
On Friday, Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards played out a 1-1 draw as both sides remained unbeaten in the competition. Delhi opened the scoring in the sixth minute thanks to a glorious reverse stick shot from New Zealand international Simon Child just six minutes into the contest, before UP Wizards and India star VR Raghunath netted a 24th minute equaliser with a trademark drag-flick.
Wizards Coach Roelant Oltmans felt the result was a fair reflection of the game. “We didn’t create too many errors for our opponents to capitalise on. In my opinion both teams played equally well, it was a match where the teams were matched equally on all factors.”
Uttar Pradesh Wizards were in action once again on Saturday, achieving a fine 2-0 victory over former league leaders Ranchi Rhinos. A stunning reverse stick shot from Netherlands international striker Jeroen Hertzberger gave the Wizards a deserved lead in the 47th minute before a Raghunath penalty corner doubled the advantage ten minutes from time.
“We couldn’t implement our game plan, maintain rhythm or coordinate well”, said Gregg Clark, coach of Ranchi Rhinos. “I guess it was a bad day for the team. We will try and comeback in the next match.”
On Sunday, five times FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer produced a man-of-the-match performance to help Jaypee Punjab Warriors claim their first win of the tournament by defeating Darbur Mumbai Magicians 4-2. The Warriors were forced to fight back from a 2-1 deficit before goals from Dwyer, Ranjit Singh and Dharamvir Singh earned a crucial victory for the home side.
“This win is an important one for us,” said Warriors star Dwyer. “This team composition and rhythm seemed to work well … we hope to continue this level of performance for the rest of the games”.
The weekend results mean that Uttar Pradesh Wizards currently sit at the top of the league table with 12 points, ahead of Delhi Waveriders courtesy of a marginally better goal difference. Both teams are yet to taste defeat in the competition.
Video highlights of these matches can be found at the bottom of this page. For more information about the competition including extended match reports, photos, league tables and forthcoming fixtures, please visit the official website of the Hero hockey India League by clicking here.
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