In the second game of our home leg, UP Yoddha were knocked down by the high-flying Bengaluru Bulls on Saturday at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex, Greater NOIDA. We started off well, finishing the first half with a five-point lead, but the Bulls bounced back to take the match away.
With a great tackle from Nitesh Kumar, we got the captain Rohit Kumar out immediately and Prashanth followed up with a running hand-touch. Soon, we were off to a 5-0 lead. However, the Bulls bounced back soon with two Super-Tackles. But we kept the Bulls at their toes and got them All-Out.
Though captain Rishank sat the first half at bench, his tactics before the match went on as per plan with the smooth execution of Yoddha. The Yoddha clan looked charged up and the game plan was in place, with no unnecessary risks and planned tackles at the end of half-time, we led the Bulls by 20-15.
Coming back into the second half, we started with a brilliant tackle point via an ankle-hold by Sachin Kumar. He displayed it quite frequently in the match and kept it tight for the opposition raiders. While Pawan Sehrawat who had been a big threat in this season, was barred from scoring much.
However, things changed towards the end of the 2nd half, as the Bulls gathered 4 points getting us All-Out and, in the way, taking the lead. Their scoring rate went up, and Rishank came on to the mat, as our bet, to revive the team. However, the Bulls got the better of him, getting him out after two empty raids.
Reduced to three – Nitesh, Jeeva and Narender – we had a deficit of 8 points to make up. Despite trying their level best and pulling off a Super-Tackle with five minutes remaining, the deficit proved to be too big for us and the victory went the Bulls’ way. However, we reduced it to acquire one point from the match, finishing with a 35-29 scoreline.
Nitesh Kumar bagged the TATA Ace Defender of the Match with 4 points, while Prashanth remained our top raider with 7 points.
There will be a lot of positives to look back – like the commendable defense and the indomitable will power of the Yoddha, to move on from the disappointment and look forward to our next task in hand.