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WSH: 12 goals, 18 PCs in a match Mario mesmerises (3/1/2012)
--K. Arumugam
12 goals, 18 PCs in a match as Mario Almada mesmerizes Mumbai

If commercial hockey is more goals, more action, more thrill, its better to videograph the match between Pune Strykers and Mumbai Marines. The first match the city of Mumbai witnessed could not have been a better advertisement for the WSH Organizers who faced only hurdles in the run up.

The match had all the ingredient of modern hockey in one go. It was speedy, goals came in regular intervals, not much known players churned up Champagnee stuff, good crowd and what not.

Pune Strykers, trained by Gundeep Kumar and Mervyn Fernandes, struck a brace within 8 minutes.

It was followed by the second quarter which saw three goals in three minutes by Meredith trained host team. Devinder Walmiki was a thorn in the flesh sending crosses from right wing. At half time, Mumbai led 4-3.

Third quarter only firmed up the Mumbai's ascendency, though each team scored a piece.

The fourth quarter changed the complexion of the match. Mario Almada, Damandeep Singh, Vikas Pillay entertained the goody crowd to great extent. 11 minutes before the hooter, Gurpreet converted team's 12th penalty corner and three minutes later another one to take the match away from the Marines.

Even as the hooter came up, the Marines got a penalty corner, though not converted.

It was veteran Mario Almada who was a treat to watch, as was Gurpreet of Haryana, who did the impossible out of Almada's great set ups.

Almada, who struck the golden goal against India in the Azlan Shah Cup final three summers ago, and was part of Orissa Steelers who won the title in Chandigarh in 2007, was a man possessed, weaving past the Marines, earning penalty corners and almost part of anything the Pune team did on Thursday

Gurpreet Singh, another from Namdhari stable came up with trumps, all four goals. He was adjudged Man of the Match and got Rs.10 k from the organizers and Rs.5 from Seagram's Blue Marines.

In the end, its great start for WSH in Mumbai.

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