Brilliant performances from left raiders Shrikant Jadhav and Prashanth Kumar Rai, who combined to score 14 raid points, propelled U.P. Yoddha over home team Puneri Paltan by a scoreline of 29-23 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday. This victory was the second of the season for the Zone B side.
The first half was an offensive showdown as only two tackle points were collectively scored by both teams over the course of the half. U.P. Yoddha’s Shrikant Jadhav and Prashanth Kumar Rai performed strongly in the half, with the former managing four points and the latter scoring seven. Captain Rishank Devadiga also managed two points. What was more crucial for the team was that neither of the three conceded a single tackle point to Puneri Paltan’s defence.
Check out the photos from the match here.
While U.P. Yoddha’s offence was on fire, Puneri Paltan’s ace raider Nitin Tomar combined with Monu to ensure that the visitors’ lead was kept in check. With the half winding down and the scoreboard reading 12-11 in U.P. Yoddha’s favour, the away team scored four straight points to extend their lead to 16-11. Tomar got the final point of the half with a touch on Sachin Kumar to end the first half at 16-12.
Puneri Paltan started the second half determined to get back into the game and they did just that, outscoring U.P. Yoddha 5-3 in the opening exchanges. They also managed to send Rai and Jadhav to the bench.
With U.P. Yoddha down to just three men, the home team pushed for an All-Out. But U.P. Yoddha’s defence stood their ground and got back-to-back Super Tackles on Monu and Tomar to push their lead back up to five with the score at 23-18.
Puneri Paltan tried their best to mount a comeback and even managed to get three straight points to reduce the deficit back down to two, but every one of their attempts was met by an equally effective counter-attack from U.P. Yoddha. Rai continued his outstanding night, getting a touch point on Ravi Kumar before Amit Kumar’s tackle on Tomar all but ended the hopes of Puneri Paltan winning their last home game.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
The U.P. Yoddha defence outscored Puneri Paltan’s defence 9-5 in the match, which was the key difference between the two sides. U.P. Yoddha managed the clock well towards the end and held on to secure a six-point win.