National Games 2022: Five star Rani Rampal fires Haryana into women’s hockey finalOctober 10, 2022
Rani Rampal fired five goals as Haryana overcame a fighting Jharkhand 5-2 to enter the final of women’s hockey in the 36 th National Games at the Dhyanchand Hockey stadium here on Sunday.
In the final, Haryana will meet Punjab which needed a late goal from Lalremsiami (58th) to beat Madhya Pradesh 2-1 in the other semifinal.
Jharkhand came up with a brave effort against Haryana which had scored 48 goals in the tournament. Jharkhand played positively at the start and enjoyed more of the possession but Haryana soaked up the early pressure and began to dominate its rival. Rani completed her hat-trick at the stroke of half-time as Haryana led 3-0.
Jharkhand vastly improved in the third quarter as it kept the rampaging Haryana forwards in check and managed to string a few decent moves to put pressure on its rival.
Sangita Kumari pulled one back for Jharkhand by converting a penalty corner in the 45 th minute and two minutes later Salima Tete scored off a fine move to reduce the margin to 3-2. However, Haryana regrouped and recovered from the slight blip pretty fast. Rani Rampal slotted in her fourth goal off a penalty corner in 49 th minute and she scored again from close in the 58 th minute to complete a fine day for her.
In the second semifinal, the gutsy Madhya Pradesh executed its defensive plans well to disrupt the free flowing game of Punjab in the first half. Punjab enjoyed better exchanges but there were few threatening moves from it to test the MP defence.
However, Punjab forwards displayed better cohesion inside the MP half in the second quarter and the side earned a string of penalty corners which saw captain Gurjit Kaur score the opening goal in the 29 th minute.
Madhya Pradesh asserted itself more in the third quarter and managed to keep the Punjab defence on its toes through swift counterattacks. Captain Ishika Chaudhary scored the equaliser for Madhya Pradesh in the 42 nd minute by converting a penalty corner. However, Punjab went all out in search of the winner and were finally rewarded when Lalremsiami scored in a goalmouth melee in the 58 th minute.
Haryana 5 (Rani Ramphal 11, 16, 30, 49, 58) bt Jharkhand 2 (Sangita Kumari 45, Salima Tete 47).
Punjab 2 (Gurjit Kaur 29, Lalremsiami 58) bt Madhya Pradesh 1 (Ishika Chaudhary 42)