The final day of action from Euro Hockey League Round 1.2 Terrassa was a hugely entertaining one for a sell-out crowd, as Mannheimer, Beeston, Bloemendaal and East Grinstead all claimed victories to ensure that that they will go through to Easter’s KO16 tournament as Pool winners. More about the matches can be found below.
Mannheimer defeat Grunwald to send Glenanne through to KO16
Mannheimer became the only team from Germany to win their pool in Round one of this season’s Euro Hockey League thanks to an impressive 5-1 triumph over WKS Grunwald Poznan of Poland.
With both EHL champions UHC Hamburg and German champions Rot-Weiss Köln only managing to finish second in their respective Pools in Round 1.1, Mannheimer made sure that they confirmed themselves as a top seeded team ahead of the Round 2 draw with a performance that was a huge improvement on their display against Glenanne on Friday.
The result was bad news for Polish champions WKS Grunwald Poznan, who came into the match knowing that a draw or a victory would be enough to progress to the knock-out stages of the competition, but goals from Tomas Prochaska, Fabian Pehlke (2), Michael McCann and an own goal from Poznan keeper Mariusz Chyla resulted in Glenanne joining Mannheimer in the KO16 draw as runners up in Pool G.
“It was important for me being back out there today … it has been killing me watching”, said Mannheimer’s Germany international striker Matthias Witthaus, who will undergo an operation next week on an injured hand that has kept him out of action for the last month. “Today was a nice day because we won the match. I enjoyed playing but of course I didn’t play my best hockey after four weeks without holding stick.”
Atlétic Terrassa stung by brilliant Beeston
England’s Beeston produced a superb performance to record a famous victory over host club Atlétic Terrassa, winning the match 2-1.
It was the second year in succession that the Bees have beaten a Round 1 host club following the defeat of St Germain HC in Round 1.2 of last season’s competition. The thrilling game was played in front of a sell-out crowd, who enjoyed arguably the most exciting match of the tournament so far in the glorious sunshine.
Australian penalty corner specialist Andrew Monte was the Beeston hero, netting two stunning penalty corners in the second quarter before Florian Michel pulled a goal back just before half time. Despite a number of chances for Atlétic, Beeston held on to record arguably their finest ever win in European competition.
Bloemendaal outshine Reading to win Pool A
Dutch champions HC Bloemendaal proved themselves to be too strong for England’s Reading HC, emerging as 5-3 winners in the contest to seal their progression through to KO16 as the winners of Pool A.
Reading fell two goals behind in the very first quarter of the match, with Bloemendaal brutally punishing defensive errors from the 2003 European champions with good finished by Rogier Hofman and Rik van Kan, before a brilliant individual strike from Ronald Brouwer extended the advantage shortly after half time. Reading pulled a goal thanks to Simon Mantell but further strikes from Teun de Nooijer and van Kan virtually sealed victory for the 2009 Euro Hockey League champions. Reading scored two goals in the final quarter through Richard Mantell and Chris Cargo to make the game interesting, but Bloemendaal were worthy winners of the contest.
“I think that Reading are a good team and we had to play well to beat them today”, said Bloemendaal’s three time FIH World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer. “We had the best of the opportunities and were probably guilty of being a bit sloppy in the last ten minutes, but all in all it was a good weekend for us. We are pleased to top the pool but some pretty strong sides finished second such as UHC and Rot-Weiss Köln, so we will see who we get in the draw and go from there.”
Cheesman seals Grinstead triumph over RC Polo
A wonderful Darren Cheesman goal in the final quarter was enough to give English champions East Grinstead a hard earned victory over Real Club de Polo de Barcelona in the final match of an outstanding weekend here in Terrassa.
With the scores tied at 3-3, Cheesman brilliantly deflected into the net with his back to goal, confirming East Grinstead as winners of Pool D ahead of their illustrious Spanish opponents.
“We had a really great result against Kelburne yesterday and the guys played fantastically well, but we knew that it was going to be more of a battle against Polo”, said East Grinstead player coach Mark Pearn immediately following the end of the match. “I think we started off a bit slowly … it certainly wasn’t perfect but we are just pleased to come through and win the group.”
More information about the matches can be found on www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
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