IT WAS BUSINESS as usual for Bengal Warriors as they fell woefully short in yet another contest, losing to Puneri Paltan 31-38.
Jang Kun Lee and Nitin Madane ran successful raids for Bengal early on and the defenders caught Sonu Narwal but not before he and Deepak Niwas Hooda had drawn Pune level at 4-4.
And here, the Paltan took an upward swing, trapping Lee and Nitin, with Manjeet Chillar coming to the forefront of the battle. Deepak contribute with back to back successful raids and Ajay Thakur joining the show. Bengal tried to put up a fight, but their numbers had diminished by early secondf halaf and a Vishal Mane trapping completed the first all-out of the game. The Paltan were now leading 10-26.
Their back to the wall, the Warriors tried to fight back. Ravindra Ramesh and Nitin got some successful raids. But Ravindra got caught and it was a long time before the Warriors defence could provide a successful tackle; finally getting Sonu Narwal and Manjeet Chillar back to back.
It was more or less certain by now that Bengal, down 20-32 after 32 minutes, would lose unless some major turnaround happened. And they had a window to that: Pune were down to 3. But Jang Kun Lee, trying to get a touch, got pinned instead. Super tackle, and more points for Pune.
Soon, the game was 25-38 in Pune's favour and the players decided to take it easy. Their numbers were still down, and a tackle on Manjeet Chillar did bring about an all-out, but it was too little too late. The Paltan simply saw out the clock with their empty raids and secured a 31-38 win. The win sent Puneri Paltan to the top of the table (25 points from 7 games) and ensured that Bengal Warriors (8 points from 7 games) were established as the prime contenders for the pit bottom this season.