Gujarat Fortune Giants were defeated by Bengal Warriors in a nerve-wracking battle at the EKA Arena by TransStadia on Wednesday. After trailing in the first half, the Giants defence, led by Sunil Kumar showed outstanding resilience with four super tackles in the second half, but Prapanjan’s successful raid in the last minute handed the Warriors a two-point win.
Coach Manpreet started Sonu Jaglan in place of More GB and the move worked wonders, as he bailed us out whenever we were put into trouble.
Sachin Tanwar and Sonu Jaglan got two raid points early on, but Bengal’s defence responded well with a tackle on Rohit Gulia in the third minute. Despite Rohit Gulia struggling at one end, Sachin and Sonu never allowed the Bengal defence to settle down.
Parvesh pulled off a sensational super tackle in the 15th minute to send Nabibakhsh to the bench. We enjoyed a slender lead of 10-9, but Vijin Thangadurai tackled Sonu at a crucial juncture to hand Bengal Warriors an upper hand in the contest. Nabibakhsh came back onto the mat with devastating effect, as he inflicted an all out which gave the Warriors a 15-11 lead.
The momentum was in favour of the Warriors in the closing stages of the first half as we headed into the break trailing at 12-17.
Vinod Kumar was introduced in place of Rohit Gulia in the second half and the substitution paid dividends, as he got two points in successive raids. Things however, got worse for the Giants as we were reduced to two after Sonu Jaglan and Vinod were tackled by Bengal’s defence in the 27th minute.
The Giants had a mountain to climb as they were trailed by an 8 point margin, the scoreboard reading 16-24. However, we clawed our way back into the contest after Sunil Kumar pulled off two stunning Super tackles on Nabibakhsh and Maninder to reduce the deficit to just three points at 21-24.
Prapanjan, who wasn’t tackled by the Giants defence all night, was finally taken down in the 37th minute when he was Super tackled by Sunil and Sonu Jaglan, much to the delight of the roaring Giants army.
The Giants defence thrived under pressure in the dying moments, and Sunil’s Super tackle on Maninder levelled the score at 26-26, with two minutes left to play.
Bengal restored the lead at 27-26 when Nabibakhsh tackled Sonu Jaglan in our do-or-die raid. A buzzer raid turned out to be Bengal’s do-or-die raid,where a successful tackle would have won us the game. Prapanjan stepped in and got a gut wrenching touch point on Vinod Kumar to break the hearts of the supporters in the stadium.
Full-Time: Gujarat Fortune Giants 26-28 Bengal Warriors
Tata Ace defender of the match: Sunil Kumar
The Giants will play their final home game against the Jaipur Pink Panthers at the EKA Arena by TransStadia on Friday. After a disappointing home leg, they will look to sign off with a win.