High 5s from Mohit and Jaideep helped the Haryana Steelers beat U.P. Yoddha 36-35. The victory, Haryana’s third on the trot, saw them climb to fifth on the points table.
After a cagey start, U.P. Yoddha seized the advantage, courtesy of two touch points from Pardeep. The Record-Breaker went in to raid against a defence of three, hoping to add to his tally but was met with a sensational Thigh Hold from Surender Nada, which cut the Yoddhas’ deficit to one.
Shubham Kumar’s assured Block on Vikash Kandola pushed U.P.’s lead back up to two, but Haryana’s defence responded with another Super Tackle to level the scores. Buoyed by their defence, the Steelers finished the half stronger and went into the break leading 15-14.
After a rough first half, Vikash Kandola came to the fore early in the second, picking up two touch points to reduce U.P. to a solitary man on the mat. The Steelers defence allowed substitute Mohit to pick up the bonus before pinning the raider down to inflict the game’s first All Out and give their side a four-point lead.
Rohit Gulia continued Haryana’s hot streak, first, with a sensational toe touch on Pardeep Narwal and then a brilliant Jump over two on-rushing U.P. defenders in his subsequent raid, pushing the Steelers’ lead to seven. The defence and Kandola combined to leave U.P. with a solitary man on the mat as the Steelers closed in on inflicting another All Out.
But U.P. had an ace up their sleeve.
They subbed in Iranian Mohammad Taghi, and the raider delivered a four-point Super Raid, which revived three U.P. players and turned the tide of the contest. Taghi then sent Kandola to the bench with a perfect Ankle Hold which cut the Steelers’ lead to four.
Pardeep then went in to raid against two defenders and had seemingly been Super Tackled close to the midline. But the raider showcased his tremendous strength and pushed one defender past the midline to render him out and leave the Steelers with a solitary man on the mat. U.P.’s defence made no mistake in pinning the raider down to inflict an All Out on the Steelers and cut their deficit to one point.
With the game on a knife’s edge, the Steelers’ defence showcased their might, picking up two tackle points to push their team’s lead to three. With just over a minute left, U.P. needed a moment of magic from one of their raiders, and Shrikant Jadhav delivered, picking up a bonus and tagging two defenders en route to the midline for a three-point Super Raid, which levelled the scores.
Vinay came in for the game’s final raid against a tentative-looking U.P. Yoddha defence. The raider sensed the opportunity and picked up a bonus point underneath the Left In before watching the clock wind down to zero and win the game for his side.
Best Raider – Rohit Gulia (7 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Mohit (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Shrikant Jadhav (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Shubham Kumar (4 Tackle Points)