Bengaluru Bulls beat Puneri Paltan 24-20 in a low-scoring contest at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports in Sonepat on Sunday to register their first win in seven matches. The Bulls’ Kuldeep Singh bagged a High 5 with five tackle points, while Dharmaraj Cheralathan was Pune’s best performer with four tackle points.
Pune started the game well and made Bengaluru wait till the sixth minute for their first points courtesy of a Jaipal super tackle. The Bulls then settled into the encounter and even managed to take a 7-5 lead at one stage before they also became the recipient of a super tackle by Pune’s Ziaur Rahman in keeping with the ebb-and-flow nature of the first half.
The Paltan did open up a two-point advantage and went into the break with a 10-8 lead. However, neither side’s attack could assert any authority on the mat as the defences dominated in what was a low-scoring opening period.
The second half started in similar fashion as both teams mostly picked up their points in do-or-die raids with the defences still looking commanding. Bengaluru levelled the score at 12-12 in the 28th minute thanks to some more superb defensive work.
A two-point raid by Rohit Kumar a minute later then helped the Bulls take a 14-12 lead. Rohit’s raid also set up the first All-Out of the match on Pune moments later as the southerners took a 17-13 lead into the final quarter of the game.
The last 10 minutes of the half saw both set of raiders finally starting to find some success in attack. Bengaluru’s Rohit and Ajay Kumar as well as Pune skipper Deepak Hooda began to pick up a few touch points but the teams were still very much reliant on their defences in do-or-die situations for points.
Bengaluru took charge of the contest in the final three minutes after a wonderful tackle by Jaipal on Sandeep Narwal gave them a 22-16 lead. They saw out the remainder of the match by running down the clock to pick up their fourth win of the season.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.