Ranchi :Defending Champions Ranchi Rays completed a hat-trick of wins after eking out a 3-2 win over table toppers Kalinga Lancers in a round robin match of the fourth Hockey India League
Down 0-2, the hosts produced a brilliant fightback with Ashley Jackson (39th minute) reducing the deficit by converting a penalty, while Timothy Deavin (48th) scored a field goal to seal the match for Ranchi.
For Kalinga, Malak Singh (33rd) produced a field goal to give his team a 2-0 lead.
As per the new goal scoring system, every field goal and penalty stroke goal resulting from a deliberate four is counted as two.
With this win, Ranchi zoomed to the top of the table. They will next take on now Jaypee Punjab Warriors here on Saturday, while Kalinga will meet Debang Mumbai on Sunday in Mumbai.
After a hard-fought battle in the first two quarters, it was Kalinga who earned the first blood with Malak Singh scoring a field goal three minutes into the third quarter.
Six minutes later, skipper Jackson grabbed on to an opportunity when he stepped up and powered the ball into the goalpost, converting a penalty corner, to reduce the deficit to 1-2.
However, even after the end of the third quarter, the visitors still lead 2-1, thanks to some superb save by Andrew Charter.
It was Deavin who turned the match on its head in the 48th minute when he showed lightning quick reflexes to slot in the on the rebound to make it 3-2.
With just five minutes to go, the Lancers played their heart out but they could not level the score as Ranchi continued their dominant run.