Ahmedabad, Sep 27 (IANS) Services stayed on course for a fourth straight title in men’s kabaddi at the National Games, overcoming Tamil Nadu 45-31 for their second victory in the 36th National Games here on Tuesday.
Earlier, in a late-night Group A match on Monday, they had trounced Chandigarh 66-32 to underscore their championship ambitions.
Maharashtra women too posted their second win in Group A, scoring a 46-22 victory over hosts Gujarat to build on the thrilling 32-31 win over National Champions Himachal Pradesh on Monday.
In a gripping contest, Services’ men saw Tamil Nadu fight back from 12-19 down at half-time to 27-30. That is when they upped the ante and cruised to what proved to be a comfortable victory, pleasing coach Narendra Kumar.
“We will miss Navin Kumar who is injured. That is a concern. Other than that, it has been a good journey so far,” he said.
“Tamil Nadu played very well, especially in the middle of the second half when they came close to us. But I am happy that we held our nerves and went on to secure a good win.”
Similarly, Maharashtra coach Sanjay was pleased with the effort of his women players. “The girls are playing well. We are almost there in the semifinals. We want to win the last league game (against Bihar) and that will help us go into the knockout stage in a great frame of mind. We want to win gold with a clean slate,” he declared.
On the contrary, Gujarat coach Kevalchand Suthar drew comfort from a fighting display by his girls. “We lack experience. But I am happy we have played well. The exposure in the National Games against teams like Maharashtra today and Bihar yesterday should help us in the days to come,” he was quoted as saying by the organising committee.
Meanwhile, in the Netball competition in Bhavnagar, Gujarat men stayed on course for a semifinal berth and medal with an emphatic 53-38 victory over Madhya Pradesh in their second Group A clash. The hosts, who had lost a close opening round clash against National champions Haryana, dominated Madhya Pradesh in the first three quarters before easing off.
Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh both have two points each with a win and a loss. In the final Group A league clash, Gujarat will face fourth-placed Punjab while Madhya Pradesh take on Haryana.
Men’s: Services bt Tamil Nadu (45-31); Maharashtra bt Chandigarh (60-21)
Women’s: Maharashtra bt Gujarat (46-22); Himachal Pradesh bt Bihar (41-17)
Men’s: Haryana bt Gujarat (55-26)
Women’s: Haryana bt Punjab (43-15).