A memorable game that included a Super 10, a High 5, some unbelievable solo tackles and a jaw-dropping seven-point raid finally ended with Gujarat Fortunegiants beating U Mumba by a scoreline of 38-36 at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. It was also a history-setting night as U Mumba’s Siddharth Desai equalled Rahul Chaudhari’s record for the least number of games taken to reach 100 raid points, doing so in nine matches.
Gujarat Fortunegiants silenced the home crowd in the early exchanges as Sachin managed to score three raid points in the opening six minutes while their defence backed the raider by sending Abhishek Singh to the bench to reduce U Mumba down to just two men on the mat and give the visitors a 7-4 lead. But substitute Vinod Kumar’s Super Tackle on Sachin started a run that saw U Mumba score seven straight points and turn their three-point deficit into a four-point lead.
Check out the photos from the match here.
With just three men on the mat for Gujarat Fortunegiants, K Prapanjan came on as a substitute and got Atrachali with a touch to swing the momentum back in his side’s favour. Parvesh Bhainswal and captain Sunil Kumar got in on the act, combining to score three straight tackle points to reduce U Mumba down to just two men. Dong Geon Lee make short work of both men, getting a touch on both players and thereby inflicting an All-Out on U Mumba. In the penultimate raid of the half, Sachin continued his outstanding work on the night, getting two touch point as the teams went into the break with Gujarat Fortunegiants leading 18-14.
Desai quickly got his side back into the match in the second half by scoring two touch points before captain Atrachali executed a thumping tackle on Lee to reduce Gujarat Fortunegiants’ lead to just one. Vinod Kumar’s two tackle points, split by substitute Darshan Kadian’s touch point helped U Mumba inflict an All-Out and take a 24-21 lead in the match.
But the game’s biggest moment came in the 36th minute and turned the course of the match.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
Atrachali attempted a double Thigh Hold on substitute Mahendra Rajput and was supported by the entire team. But the raider managed to reach the midline after getting a touch on all five players, to inflict the All-Out and score seven points for his side, giving them a 33-30 lead.
Gujarat Fortunegiants went in for the kill and scored three more unanswered points to take a six-point lead in the match with under two minutes left. But captain Atrachali wasn’t about to give in as his incredible solo tackle on Rajput started a run that saw U Mumba outscore their opponents 6-1 in just over a minute, giving them an opportunity to tie the game.
But Baliyan’s attempt on Ajay Kumar in the last raid of the match wasn’t timed well and the raider escaped to the midline with a point as the clock expired and Gujarat Fortunegiants hung on to win a gripping contest.
Top Performers –
Best Raider: Siddharth Desai (12 raid points)
Best Defender: Vinod Kumar (5 tackle points)
Best Raider: Sachin (9 raid points)
Best Defender: Parvesh Bhainswal (4 tackle points)