(Photo: © Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The third day of the Euro Hockey League KO16 Hamburg event featured action from the first two Quarter Finals, with host club UHC Hamburg taking on Club Egara of Spain, while Dutch champions HC Bloemendaal aimed to get past East Grinstead of England. The matches were played in glorious sunshine, with huge crowds turning out to cheer on their respective teams. You can find brief reports of the matches below, and extended reports on the Euro Hockey League website – www.ehlhockey.tv.


Quarter Final 1: UHC Hamburg 4-3 Club Egara
Club Egara were forced out of the Euro Hockey League for the second year in a row by UHC Hamburg, as the host club took a 4-3 victory to book their place in the Semi Finals. Moritz Fürste scored two penalty flicks with Marco Miltkau and Patrick Brietenstein also getting on the score-sheet to send the huge home crowd into delirium. The match was played as if it was a matter of life or death, with both teams showing an intense commitment and desire to take a place in the last four.

UHC took the lead thanks to Fürste’s penalty flick only for EHL top scorer Guillermo Schickendantz to level in the 18th minute. However, two minutes later teenager Marco Miltkau deflected the ball over the body of Cortes and into the net to re-establish the lead for UHC. Miltkau wheeled away in celebration sucking his thumb, a symbolic gesture to mark the birth of UHC Coach Martin Schultze’s baby daughter Emma yesterday. An incredible three minutes of hockey began in the 49th minute, when Patrick Breitenstein powered in a penalty corner. A minute later, Egara pulled a goal back thanks to an Edi Tubau penalty stroke, only for Moritz Fürste to claim his second goal of the game, also from the penalty spot. Egara made the score 4-3 in the final minute when Schickendantz collected his 11th EHL goal in four matches from close range, but it was too little too late for the Spanish outfit. UHC Hamburg had eliminated Club Egara for the second year running, and take their place in the Semi Finals of the 2008-09 Euro Hockey League.

Quarter Final 2: HC Bloemendaal 3-2 East Grinstead
East Grinstead pushed HC Bloemendaal all the way in the day second Quarter Final, but the famous Dutch outfit triumphed by three goals to two thanks to a 68th minute strike from Nick Meijer. The result puts Bloemendaal into the semi finals of the Euro Hockey League. Due to the EHL regulations designed to ensure that two teams from the same country do not play each other in the tournament Final, Bloemendaal's Semi Final opponents will be the winner of tomorrow's Quarter Final match between Amsterdam H&BC and HC Rotterdam.

East Grinstead took the lead when Andy Piper intercepted a loose Bloemendaal pass and fed the evergreen Danny Hall who scored from close range. Bloemendaal replied when Wouter Jolie smashed a penalty corner under the outstretched stick of East Grinstead keeper George Harris to pull his team back into the game. Grinstead were far from favourites in this match, but had the better of the early stages of the second half and eventually took the lead when winger Dave de Prez brilliantly deflected Danny Hall’s shot into the goal. Bloemendaal desperately needed to raise their standards if they wanted to stay in the Euro Hockey League, but did just that when Wouter Jolie hit a terrific reverse stick effort from the left just inside the right post. With three minutes to go, East Grinstead’s EHL dream fell apart. Player coach Mark Pearn was given a yellow card for what was deemed a deliberate trip and moments later Nick Meijer showed composure in the circle to drive a reverse stick shot into the goal to seal a Bloemendaal victory.

Tomorrow will feature the two remaining Quarter Finals. KHC Leuven of Belgium take on England’s Reading at 12.00(CEST). The final match of the EHL KO16 Hamburg event is an all-Dutch affair, as H.C. Rotterdam face Amsterdam H&BC.
 

Another baby arrives!
Following the arrival of Martin Schultze’s baby yesterday, we can announce another birth! Jamie Dwyer became a father when his wife gave birth to their son Julian today. Understandably, Dwyer was not present in Germany to take part in Bloemendaal’s match against East Grinstead, but he is very much expected to play in the Semi Finals which take place at the end of May. Congratulations to the Dwyer family on behalf of everyone from the Euro Hockey League.

For more info, video footage, photos and extended match reports, please visit www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.