Ranchi Rays clinch thrilling draw in maiden HIL home encounter

Ranchi Rays, playing their first game at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium, clinched a thrilling 2-2 draw over Delhi Waveriders in their maiden home-game of the Hockey India League.

The hosts showed a lot of grit and determination and made a dramatic turnaround in the contest, after trailing 2-0 in the first two quarters.

Nick Budgeon scored the first goal for the Ranchi Rays in the dying moments of the first half to help the hosts narrow down the lead, while Mandeep Singh equalized in the third quarter.

Skipper Ashley Jackson could have put the Ranchi Rays into the lead in the third quarter itself but his shot, taking goalkeeper’s deflection, hit the post and the home side was denied a winner.

Crowd support and some fine skills helped the Jackson-led side to continuously tease the defence of Delhi Waveriders and kept pressing ahead to score the winner.

The Ranchi Rays, however, couldn’t find the winner but their resilience helped them clinch two crucial points, which at one time looking unlikely.