Seniors reign in battle of BKSPs
Defending champions Abahani posted a second successive win in the Dhaka Bank Club Cup Hockey tournament after they beat Mariner Youngs Club 5-2 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The second triumph in as many matches no doubt took the Dhanmondi-based outfit close to the semifinal berth but it was not one-way traffic as they saw in their 7-1 win against Bangladesh Police in the tournament opener.
Though it was a clash between Abahani and Mariners, actually it was a battle between the senior and the junior students of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) because both outfits have clogged their respective squads with the BKSP boys, at present the premium pipeline for providing players to mainstream hockey, even in the national team.
Obviously the Abahani squad is comprised of senior students, of whom seven are sitting for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations today and the Mariners squad have mostly juniors, the ones who gave the SSC exams two month ago.
The margin might have given the impression that Abahani easily won the game but the fact was that they had to toil hard to beat their juniors, who looked determined to pull off an upset though they failed because of the lack of experience.
Despite having gone one goal down in the third minute, Mariners put up a fast-paced game to give their seniors a nervous time throughout the game. But in the end they could not cash in on their movements as most of them have been playing at the top-level for the first time.
Abahani, however, never appeared to lose touch with the the game as their striking duo Jamil Bin Talib and Hasan Jubair Niloy were excellent with their stick work to find the destination and they together scored four out of the five field goals that Abahani struck.
Jamil put the Sky Blues ahead in the third minute before Niloy doubled the margin in the 20th minute and then made it 3-0 in the 49th minute despite facing a stiff challenge from Mariners, whose striker Mainul Islam pulled a goal back through a fine reverse-hit in the 52nd minute.
Seven minutes later, Labu Nahid Chowdhury struck the fourth goal for Abahani and again Mainul reduced the margin for Mariners striking his second goal in the 63rd minute. Niloy however sealed the game two minutes from time scoring his second goal.
The beauty of the game, however, was a bit tarnished due to the unnecessary protest of the umpires' decisions by Abahani captain Asaduzzaman Chandan.