Cedrick does it for Wanderers

D. Cedrick was the man of the moment for Chennai Wanderers in the final of the second Anglo-Indian hockey tournament at the MRK Stadium here on Saturday.

The forward struck twice in the first half to help Wanderers see off AIWA (Hyderabad) 2-0 without much fuss.

Cedrick’s second at the stroke of half-time left Hyderabad reeling and they never recovered from the psychological blow.

The title was no more than the Chennai team deserved as they played nifty, clean and purposeful hockey throughout the two-day tournament.

Hyderabad were capable of playing much better but they looked out of sorts and jaded in the big match.

What was most disappointing about the final was it lacked the drama of earlier rounds. A funereal atmosphere prevailed at the stands as Wanderers, whose line-up had a fine blend of experience and exuberance, cantered to the title.

The final between Podanur and Bow Barracks (Kolkata) in the first edition at the same venue two years ago was a blockbuster in terms of entertainment.

The usually boisterous Anglo-Indians were strangely quiet from start to finish. Maybe they all had been preserving their energy for the after-match party, something that is intrinsic to the community.

Hyderabad’s best chance of the match fell to Allister just after Cedrick had sounded the board at the other end.

The young forward did well to put his stick to an excellent pass from the middle but his deflection missed the target by a whisker.

Cedrick’s second goal put the result to bed. It was indeed a stellar strike. Making full use of Hyderabad’s nonexistent man marking, the Chennai forward blasted the ball in from the left.

The pace and power of the shot rendered Hyderabad goalkeeper a mere bystander.

Chennai defence was as good as their forward line. A desperate diving tackle from F. Dias in the second half showed the hunger of the home team.

D. Antony shook the fans from their slumber with a delightful run. The Chennai winger left a trail of defenders in his wake on the left and squared the ball to R. Jaison.

Instead of shooting at sight, Jaison tried to walk the ball into the cage and paid the price. The ghastly miss didn’t have a bearing on the result because Chennai were home and dry then.

Trevor Vanderputt, who chronicled the contribution of Anglo-Indians to the game in Hockey’s Odyssey, gave away the prizes.

Results of the second all-India Anglo-Indian hockey tournament: Final: Wanderers (Chennai) (D. Cedrick 2) bt AIWA (Hyderabad) 0.
QF: AIWA (Hyderabad) bt Sporting Youngsters (Villupuram) 3-0, Anglo Wanderers (Chennai) bt Anglo Saxons (Chennai) 1-0, Bengaluru Guild B bt Perambur (Chennai) 2-1, Bengaluru Guild A bt Juvenile (Tiruchy) 4-1.
SF: AIWA (Hyderabad) bt Bengaluru Guild B 1-1, (4-3 on penalties), Wanderers bt Bengaluru Guild A 5-2.

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