A LATE SURGE from Telugu Titans fell just short of a successful comeback as Bengaluru Bulls, who were leading the contest most of the time, managed to just about salvage a victory over the Titans in their own den by a 28-30 margin.
When Nilesh Salunke and Rahul Chaudhari got the scoreboard rolling for the Titans with successful raids, the Bulls had the answer ready in a double-touch Rohit Kumar raid. Rahul and Sandeep Narwal pushed things ahead for the Titans and the defenders trapped Vinod Kumar. But Bengauru came right back with a back to back raids from Rohit Kumar and a tackle on Nilesh Salunke. It was 7-7 after 13 minutes of play.
From here, the Bulls took the lead. Vinod Kumar got two touches and Rohit Kumar got one, reducing Telugu Titans to one man: Rahul Chaudhari. Rahul came raiding, got the bonus and was tackled. The all-out was complete and the Bulls went 8-14 ahead.
The hosts shot back with a Nilesh Salunke double-point raid and a crafty touch from Prapanjan but the Bulles had already clocked in two successful raids fro Vinod and Rohit. At half-time, they visitors were 11-16 ahead.
And they kept building on it. Prapanjan was caught and Rohit got another touch. The Titans caught Ashish Kumar and Rohit got a touch and was tackled soon afterwards. Telugu Titans were now scoring along with Bengaluru Bulls but the deficit wasn't coming down. When they took a time-out to strategise for a final push some 31 minutes in, they were trailing 16-20.
The Titans' had an in: Bengaluru were down to 3 men on the mat. They sent their best raider to tighten that hold. But Rahul Chaudhari fell victim to a super tackle. Then Pawan Kumar came on and got a touch. Suddenly the Bulls were no longer threatened with an all-out and had expanded their lead to 16-23.
But the Titans' raiders striked back. Nilesh and Sandeep got back to back successful raids and Rahul Chaudhari got in the act as well. But unfortunately the defence of the home team wasn't holding up. Because the same time Bengaluru raider Pawan Kumar ran back to back successful raids. The scoreline after 35 minutes still had Telugu Titans trailing 20-26.
The Bulls caught Sandeep Narwal and followed up with two successful raids by Rohit Kumar. Now trailing 21-30 with 3 minutes left, the Titans had no recourse left but to make a desperate push for comeback.
And that's what they did. They caught Rohit Kumar, then Rahul Chaudhari got a super raid, touching 3. Nilesh Salunke got a touch too and Pawan Kumar was tackled. But just when it seemed like the home team were back in the game, the clock ran out. The final score, 28-30, did not reflect the Bulls' domination for the majority of the game at all. But it was enough to secure a win over Telugu Titans at their own den and ensure that Bengaluru Bulls went to 2nd poisition in the league table, with 18 points from 5 games.