LAHORE - National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) routed Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) 2-0 to become champion of the 35th National Junior Hockey Championship which concluded here at the National Hockey Stadium here on Saturday.

The floodlight final turned out to be one of the best matches of the championship which was played under wet conditions and witnessed by a large crowd who fully enjoyed the proceedings. The match started on a high note. SSGC demonstrated excellent possession of the ball making a couple of fine forays in the first quart.

In the third minute, Ali Raza, Asif Iqbal and M Asim launched a fine move but the agile goalkeeper of the bankers stopped a direct hit to frustrate their attempt. NBP bounced back in the 7th minute through Azfar Yaqoob who took the ball from the half line and sprinted to enter into the circle where he gave a pass to M Dilber, who neatly pushed the ball to give lead to his team. In the 29th minute, the bankers got their fourth penalty corner which Abubakar Mehmood successfully converted.

The match entered into an interesting stage in the last two quarts as SSGC intensified their efforts and exerted their pressure, especially their forward Adeel Latif was outstanding who spearheaded a couple of moves for the amusement of the spectators who cheered brilliant stick work. Adeel first along with Zeeshan Bukhari initiated an attack in the 39th minute but hard hit of Zeeshan was stopped by the goalkeeper. Then he and Samiullah made a move in the 48th minute to earn the third penalty corner for their team which couldn’t be converted amid brilliant save by the goalkeeper. Sohail Janjua and Abdul Mannan supervised the match.

At the end, chief guest Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Director General Usman Anwar gave away cash prize of Rs 500,000 to victorious captain M Atiq while SSGC captain M Rizwan received cash award of Rs 300,000. PHF president Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, secretary Shahbaz Senior, DG Brig (R) Mussarat Ullah Khan and tournament director Col (R) Sikandar Ghumman were also present at the prize distribution ceremony.

Earlier, the third position match between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Whites and Army could not be played because of heavy rain but both teams were declared joined winners and equally shared prize money of Rs 200,000.