Chennai, Jan. 21:
Tamil Nadu beat Central Secretariat 4-3 in a hard-fought final Sunday to claim top honours in the Arise Steel 9th Hockey India Senior National men’s hockey championship (“B’’ Division) at the SDAT Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium here.
Tamil Nadu was winning the national title after a gap of 20 years.
The two finalists qualify for the senior national “A’’ division to be held later this year.
In the valedictory function, the prizes were distributed by Deeraj Kumar, Secretary, Youth Welfare and Sports Department of Tamilnadu. J.M. Fernando, Secretary, Tamilnadu Olympic Association presided over. Sekar J Manoharan, President, Hockey Unit of Tamilnadu welcomed. Renuka Lakshmi, Secreatary HUT gave vote of thanks.
Earlier, in the bronze medal match, Sports Authority of India thrashed Bengaluru Hockey Association 5-1.
In a tense final, Tamil Nadu and the team from Delhi fought hard from the word go.
It was the home team which went ahead in the 12th minute through D Muthuseelvan, who converted a penalty corner.
Govind Singh Rawat levelled for Central Secretariat with a strike in the 20th minute only to see TN go ahead again in the very next minute and the score stayed 2-1 in its favour at half-time.
Central Secretariat bounced back to level the score in the 34th minute when Rawat found the net.
P Dhamu put the home team in front again in the 38th minute.
However, G Gnanavel beat the Tamil Nadu goalkeeper to equalise for Secretariat in the 41st minute.
The final quarter saw both teams push hard to score and V Vinodhan slammed home in the 56th minute to seal the match for Tamil Nadu.
To Tamil Nadu’s credit, the players remained calm under pressure and held on to deny Central Secretariat.
In the bronze medal play-off, SAI was in dominant form.
Vishal (12th minute), Rahul Kumar (22nd), Boby Singh Dhami (37th), Naveen (45th) and Mohit Kumar (56th) scored for the winning team while Harish Mutagar (12’’) scored the lone goal for Bengaluru Hockey Association.