Bengaluru, September 2, 2019: Puneri Paltan put in a spirited performance but Haryana Steelers notched up a win at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on Monday. Steelers beat Puneri Paltan 41-27.
The match had been billed as an encounter between the hard-tackling Pune side (with a league’s best average tackle points of 11.4 per match) and the raid heavy Haryana team (average of 17.8 raid points per match) and the early minutes certainly lived up to the hype with both teams matching each other.
Nitin Tomar started brightly for Pune as the five-star raider produced a 'Dubki' to take out the Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Vikas Kandola in the second minute. Super Tackles, a big source of points in Season 7, from both ends, kept the scores ticking as the match became a cagey affair towards the end of the first half. But two multi-point raids by Vikas Kandola forced an All-Out on Pune and handed over the momentum to Haryana. The half ended with Haryana on top (18-11).
The second half began with renewed energy for both the teams. Vikas Kandola supported by raiding duo of Vinay Kumar and Prashanth Kumar picked up vital points for the Haryana team. Haryana enforced another All-Out on Pune with less than 9 minutes left in the match to all but seal the game. They had a twenty-point lead towards the closing stages of the match, largely due to a defence marshalled by the Dharmaraj Cheralathan, who ended the match with a High 5 to his name. Puneri Paltan gave their best by putting in efforts to mount a comeback. Young Pankaj Mohite, playing his Rookie season, showed why he is a highly rated raider with some positive raids for Pune but it proved too late for Paltan.
Puneri Paltan will take on U Mumba on 5th September 2019. Fans can catch all the action on Star Sports Network and Hotstar.