A spectacular all-round performance from Mohit Goyat helped the Puneri Paltan beat the Bengaluru Bulls 37-35. The youngster scored 10 raid points and three tackle points in a crucial win for his side.
Neither team could seize the advantage in the opening few minutes as the game remained evenly poised at 5-5. With Sehrawat on the bench, the onus fell on Bharat to pick up raid points for the Bulls. The young raider managed to pick up a bonus but was pinned down in his subsequent raid attempt, which reduced the Bulls to four men.
Youngster Mohit Goyat turned the tide of the contest with a two-point raid, which left the Bulls with just two players on the mat. The Paltan raider added another touch point to his tally, helping his side inch closer to an All Out.
Deepak Narwal came off the bench and managed to pick up a bonus and a touch point to keep the All Out at bay. But Goyat was unrelenting and added another touch point to his tally to reduce the Bulls to a solitary man again. The Paltan’s defence sat deep and allowed Sehrawat to pick the bonus before tackling the raider to inflict the game’s first All Out and take a 13-10 lead.
Bengaluru embarked on a 5-0 run post the All Out, with Sehrawat picking four. With the opposition skipper in full flow, Paltan captain Nitin Tomar shouldered the responsibility of bringing his side back in the game, delivering a two-point raid that levelled the score.
Mohit then picked up a tackle point with a brilliant Ankle Hold on Bharat to ensure the Paltan went into the break with the lead.
The Paltan started the second with a 3-1 run, courtesy of a tackle on Sehrawat and a two-point raid from Mohit that left the Bulls with just Mahender on the mat. He picked up a bonus before running into Sombir, who managed to trip the Cover defender, allowing the rest of the defence to join in to pin the raider down and inflict an All Out.
Tomar and Mohit added two more points to the Paltan’s score, who now led by seven. Bengaluru’s raiding trio of Sehrawat, Bharat and Chandran Ranjit tried to help their team mount a comeback, but the Paltan’s defence sent them to the bench to maintain their seven-point lead and leave the Bulls with just three players on the mat.
Bengaluru’s defence finally made a telling contribution with a Super Tackle on Aslam Inamdar. Deepak Narwal followed it up with a successful bonus attempt as the Paltan’s lead shrunk to four. Pune’s defence and Inamdar helped their side maintain their four-point lead, but a self-out from the raider and a touch point Bharat saw the Bulls cut their deficit to just a couple of points.
Sehrawat’s 10th raid point of the night cut the Paltan’s lead to just a solitary point, but in the subsequent raid, the Bulls skipper tried an ill-advised Dash, which handed Shubham Shelke a raid point and pushed Pune’s advantage up to two.
A quick touch point from Bharat gave the Bulls one last opportunity to tie the game with a potentially successful tackle, but Mohit easily escaped an Ankle Hold attempt from a high line defence to ensure victory for the Paltan.
Best Raider – Mohit Goyat (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sombir (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Pawan Sehrawat (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Saurabh Nandal (3 Tackle Points)