Skipper Yuvraj Walmiki inspired Central Railway to a 5-2 win over Union Bank of India in the 14th PMC Bank All India Guru Tegh Bahadur hockey tournament on Friday.
The former India player hit the target in the seventh minute to give Central Railway the lead in the Group A game.
But, Central Railway’s joy was short-lived as three minutes later, Union Bank restored parity when Naveen Kheratkar tapped in Vinik Shetty’s pass from the right.
On resumption, Central picked up steam and scored four goals to run away with the match.
In the third minute of the second period, Vinod Nair, with a long diagonal hit, found Walmiki in the clear and the latter turned round a defender and beat Union Bank goalkeeper Karan Thakur with a firm reverse hit.
Four minutes later, Central added the third goal when Vinit Kamble latched on to Victo Singh’s forward pass and hit a rasping drive past Thakur.
Walmiki then feeded the ball to Victo, who tapped in from close and put Central 4-1 ahead.
The railwaymen further increased the lead when Deepak Lakra scored in the 59th minute before Union Bank managed to reduce the margin of defeat with Vinit Shetty scoring the second goal in the final minute.
Central have finished with five points from one win and two draws and are currently in first position.
Air India and Punjab National Bank (PNB), both with four points each, are in joint second place.
They meet in the concluding group match on Saturday and the outcome of the match will decide which two teams qualify for the semi-finals.
Earlier in a Group-B match, Central Secretariat defeated Hockey Bhopal 4-1 to register their third straight win in the group and are assured of qualifying for the semi-finals.
South Central Railway, Secunderabad, recovered from a 0-2 deficit to hold Western Railway, Mumbai, to a 2-2 draw in a Group-B encounter.