Ranchi Rays clinch Hockey India League title in debut season

Ranchi Rays emerged the Champions of Hockey India League 2015 post an exciting and intense game of hockey. They were successful in keeping their nerves intact to beat Punjab Warriors in the penalty shootout.

Ranchi Rays goalkeeper Lovell Tyler displayed a brilliant performance as Ranchi earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over Punjab in the shootout, after the two teams were locked at two goals apiece by the end of regulation time.

Punjab Warriors gave a tough fight to Ranchi Rays before the latter came out winners of the league. The first half of the witnessed the defence of both the teams winning over the attack and the score read 0-0.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 39th minute, when Kieran Govers slapped Jake Whetton’s cross into the nets beating Lovell. In the 42nd minute, Ranchi equalised when Stanli Minz scored on a rebound after Ashley Jackson failed to convert the penalty corner.

Right into the fourth quarter, Ranchi Rays trying to put pressure on Punjab Warriors but against the run of play Punjab got into the lead in the 56th minute, when Christopher Ciriello made it 2-1 in favour of Punjab.

In the very next minute Ranchi Rays attacked and scored the equalizer goal as Barry Middleton put the ball past Jaap Stockmann. With the scores tied 2-2 it was game on and ensuring a nail-biting finish to the Hockey India League 2015.

In the shoot-out, Punjab failed to get past an agile Lovell Tyler in the very first attempt when Simon Orchard failed to convert. While Christopher Ciriello and Dharamvir Singh scored easily in the next two attempts, SV Sunil and Robert Hammond’s consecutive misses allowed Ranchi Rays to win and lift the glittering trophy.