(Photo: © EHL)

On the second day of EHL's KO16 event at Club Egara in Terrassa, St Germain from France, Rotterdam from Holland, Club Egara from Spain, and Reading from England all progressed to the competition's quarter-finals, to be played at the same venue on Monday.

Day 2 got off to a spectacular start as St. Germain and Pocztowiec Poznan butted heads in what was by many accounts the event's most entertaining match so far. St. Germain scored early, but then had to watch Pocztowiec pull away to a 4-2 lead. In a fabulous chase in second half, the French turned around the tables however, and reached the quarter-finals with a 7-5 win.

In the 3rd minute Gerome Branquart converted a penalty corner for St Germain, but Tomasz Gorny equalized less than three minutes later. Team captain Pierre-Louis Verrier brought his team ahead again early in the second quarter, but Pocztowiec then scored an incredible three times in the last eight minutes of the first half.

With the half-time score at 4-2 for Pocztowiec, the Polish side were firmly in control. Suddenly, disaster struck. In the 48th minute, Polish defender Krzysztof Kmiec received a yellow card after a vicious tackle, which sent him to the sin-bin for ten minutes and his side conceded three goals with him not on the field, and another one upon his return. The Polish got close once more, reducing the gap to one goal when Krzysztof Rachwalski put away a field goal with five minutes to go, but it was too little too late. The French sealed the deal with a last minute goal, taking the score to the 7-5 final result.

St Germain will play Club Egara in Round 3, on Monday 24 March at 12.00 hrs.

HC Rotterdam outclassed Waterloo Ducks in a match inspired by impressive individual performances from Phil Burrows and Jeroen Hertzberger. Despite Rotterdam being clear favourites for this match, it was Waterloo who took the lead, thanks to Amaury De Cock’s penalty corner. A field goal from Jeroen Hertzberger soon had the scores level.

HC Rotterdam deservingly moved into a 3-1 lead thanks to a strike from Phillip Burrows and two goals for Jeroen Hertzberger. Soon Hertzberger had increased the score to 4-1 with a well taken penalty stroke, securing his hat trick. 4-1 quickly turned to 5-1 thanks to an individual effort from Johrus Gommers, who moved along the backline before firing the ball against the post and into the net from the tightest of angles.

The Dutch team continued their good form into the fourth quarter, and scored their sixth goal of the game when Phil Burrows scored with ease after some great work down the right from Ryan Archibald.

It was an impressive performance from HC Rotterdam, who will now face Reading in the Round 3 on Monday 24 March at 14.30 hrs

In the third match of the day, Club Egara produced the most amazing of finishes to defeat Teun de Nooijer’s HC Bloemendaal 3-2. Jordi Clapes was the hero of the hour, scoring the winner with less than 15 seconds of the game left to play.

The Dutch side started the better team but were punished for their wastefulness in front of goal by a terrific Guillermo Schickendantz drag flick. Schickendantz soon made the score 2-0 with another drag flick, leaving Bloemendaal shell-shocked. 

After failing to score in the third quarter, Bloemendaal came out fighting for their lives in the final period, and scored early through Laurence Docherty. Three minutes later, Ronald Brouwer levelled the scores with an exceptional run and strike from the top of the circle. The momentum was firmly with Bloemendaal, and it looked likely that the side from the Netherlands would score again. However, with just 15 seconds remaining of the match, Egara fired a free hit into the Bloemendaal circle only for the unmarked Jordi Clapes to deflect into the net to break Dutch hearts.

Club Egara will now play St Germain HC in Round 3, on Monday 24 March at 12.00 hrs.

English club sides Reading and Cannock faced each other in the last match of the day, with Reading emerging as deserving 2-1 winners over their fierce rivals. Great Britain international Richard Mantell scored both goals with trademark penalty corner drag-flicks to guarantee his team’s qualification for Round 3.  Mantell scored the opening goal of the game in the 15th minute with a low drag-flick, but the frustrated look on faces of the Cannock defenders indicated that they might have done better with it.

Cannock’s chances of getting back into the match dramatically improved when Reading were temporarily reduced to nine players, with Iain Mackay and Jonty Clark head both receiving green cards. However, Cannock did not make Reading pay for this, and their opponents were soon back at full strength. Reading won a penalty corner midway through the third quarter and Mantell fired in Reading’s second. However, it was Mantell who conceded a penalty corner thanks to a stick tackle giving Cannock the chance to get back into the game right at the end of the third quarter. The initial routine appeared to go badly wrong, but the ball fell kindly for Matt Taylor who fired under the body of diving goalkeeper Nick Brothers to bring his side back in the game. Despite further chances for both teams, Reading held on for victory, and were the better team on the day.

Reading will now play HC Rotterdam in Round 3, on Monday 24 March at 14.30 hrs.

For the highlights videos of the day, click here.