After a crushing defeat to Gujarat Fortunegiants in their first home game, Puneri Paltan bounced back against Maharashtra rivals U Mumba to hand them a 43-24 defeat at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Saturday. Pune outdid U Mumba in both offence and defence as captain Deepak Hooda finished with 15 raid points and defender Girish Maruti Ernak scored 8 tackle points in the win.
U Mumba took an early 5-2 lead, courtesy of the two raiders who have performed consistently for them all through the season, Anup Kumar and Shrikant Jadhav. Pune, though, soon drew level at 7-7 on the back of some strong raiding by Rajesh Mondal. His efforts were backed up by the defenders as Pune inflicted the first All-Out of the night on U Mumba in the 17th minute and went 14-9 ahead.
After a slow start, Hooda also found his feet and extended Pune’s lead to 19-11 at the half time whistle. U Mumba were subjected to another All-Out in just the second minute of the second half, now trailing 11-25. Ernak soon reached his High 5 and Hooda his Super 10 as U Mumba kept crumbling through the second half.
Pune also had their moments of anxiety. Down to 3 men at one time, they, however, struck back, first through substitute raider Suresh Kumar and then through a super tackle initiated by their best defender of the night Ernak to turn the tables on U Mumba. Pune then picked up their third All-Out against the Mumbai outfit as their lead rose to 39-20. It was just a matter of completing the formalities from there for the Paltan as they cruised to a 43-24 win.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.