Patna Pirates defeated Bengal Warriors in their final home game this season in a thrilling encounter in what gave the home fans something to cheer about after suffering four successive defeats. Patna Pirates were represented at the post-match press conference by stand-in captain Jaideep, Pardeep Narwal and coach Ram Mehar Singh. Taking questions for Bengal Warriors were captain Surjeet Singh and coach Jagdish Kumble.
Q: You finally won a game after four successive defeats. It was a close game today, what do you have to say?
Ram Mehar Singh: We haven’t been able to finish games off but today we did. Last few games, we have been conceding unnecessary points. Today we made sure not to concede unnecessary points and we were clinical in all aspects. I am proud of the team especially since we were missing Pardeep Narwal today. We decided not to take the risk of playing him since he wasn’t able to get points he normally would because of his injury. We have 11 more games to go and can’t afford to lose a player of Pardeep Narwal’s caliber. I have a lot of faith in Jaideep and he came up with his best performance of the season today.
Q: Would you say it was a complete performance?
Ram Mehar Singh: Had we been perfect, the game wouldn’t have been this close. Though our defenders got points, Jaideep didn’t have the support he required. We have talented defenders on our bench as well and when they have to come on and get points, it means that your starting defenders aren’t performing well. The substitutes really did well though.
Q: How was the experience of viewing the match as part of the crowd?
Pardeep Narwal: Maninder Singh and I both didn’t play any part in the game today. It’s never a good feeling to sit out a game especially when you’re the main raider and the team depends on you for points. We won nevertheless so I’m happy. We might have won since I’m not playing though I hope that isn’t the case. I wanted to play today as well but the coach and team management felt I should be resting so as to not aggravate my injury. A wounded lion is always more dangerous, and I was a wounded lion today.
Q: At one stage, it looked like you would come from behind and win the game. What do you have to say about the game today?
Jagdish Kumble: It was a very close match. We were unlucky with a couple of points but also conceded a few unnecessary points else we would have comfortably won the match. We shouldn’t have gone in for the tackle towards the end, it was one of our key raiders who attempted it.
Q: Was using Ran Singh as an all-rounder a part of your strategy?
Surjeet Singh: Today was only our sixth game. We have many more to go. Our plan over the season has been to increase the amount Ran Singh raids. Today we were missing Maninder and he stood in and did a fantastic job as lead raider. You will see him raiding more in the coming games and hopefully he can get us many more points.
Q: How do you view this game?
Surjeet Singh: We lost the match due to a few silly errors. This was a game we should have won after the start we got. It was close from start to end and we could have done better.