Needing an important win to keep their hopes of berth in the play-offs alive scheduled for 20th and 21st in Ranchi , the Delhi Waveriders stunned defending Champions Ranchi Rays defeating them 7-4 in a hard fought battle in the 4th Coal India Hockey India League in New Delhi .
An excellent forward line along with some critical and scintillating saves from Devon Manchester ensured the Waveriders managed a convincing victory over table toppers and defending Champions Ranchi Rays. With this win the Delhi Waveriders now move to the fifth place in the points table with 22 points to their kitty from nine games. Ranchi Rays still lead the points tally with 27 points to their kitty.
The match began on an attacking note with Delhi Waveriders pressing hard to score. The hosts seemed beaming with energy as most of the game was happening around the Ranchi Rays circle. Continuous attacks led to the home team’s first success in the 7th minute through Mandeep Singh’s field goal giving the Delhi Waveriders an early 2-0 lead.
Delhi Waveriders who seemingly entered the game to win, did not settle down post this and kept on attacking and entering the opponents circle in quick successions. One such move yielded results in the 13th minute when the Waveriders were awarded a penalty corner and Talvinder Singh made no errors in converting it giving the home team a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The second quarter was no different as the hosts kept on pressing hard and struck for the third time in the 19th minute with a field goal through Talvinder Singh giving the hosts a massive lead of 5-0 in the first half. Ranchi Rays who so far looked stunned at the games progress finally started making some moves but were unable to break through the host’s defensive line as the first half came to an end with Delhi Waveriders leading 5-0.
The Delhi Waveriders who looked determined to add more goals to their score started the second half on an attacking note, but Ranchi Rays by now had collected themselves and their defence line played true to their reputation foiling many attempts to score from the hosts. The visitors finally achieved success through a much needed field goal from Captain Ashley Jackson in the 35th minute taking the score to 5-2 still in favour of Delhi Waveriders.
The Waveriders who seemed hungry for more managed to add one more to their goal list as Mandeep Singh scored his second goal of the day in the 42nd minute giving the hosts a strong 7-2 lead in the game. Ranchi Rays tried hard to score on the counter but Devon Manchester made some beautiful saves for the Waveriders as the third quarter came to an end with the score board reading 7-2 in their favour.
The final quarter began with Ranchi Rays playing to score but the Delhi Waveriders seemed in top form stopping all the attempts to score from the visitors. Ranchi finally found success in the 50th minute through a field goal from Trent Mitton taking the score to 7-4 still in the favour of Delhi Waveriders.