Despite poor weather conditions, the first day of Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.1 event in Mülheim was blessed with drama, competitive hockey and plenty of goals. No less than 20 strikes found the target in the four matches played on Friday, as Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS), Beeston HC (ENG), Dinamo Kazan (RUS) and host club HTC Uhlenhorst started their tournaments in winning fashion.
PLATONOV INSPIRES ELEKTROSTAL TO VICTORY OVER GRUNWALD
The 2011-2012 season of the Euro Hockey League got off to a flying start as veteran Russian international star Alexander Platonov inspired Dinamo Elektrostal to a 5-4 victory over Polish champions WKS Grunwald Poznan. The 37-year-old striker scored twice in the contest, giving his team a crucial win in their bid to qualify for Easter’s KO16 tournament. Grunwald will be hugely disappointed by a defeat which leaves them needing to beat the heavily fancied East Grinstead if they are to have any chance of reaching the second phase.
KS POMORZANIN TORUN CRUSHED BY ENGLISH CHAMPIONS BEESTON
In the second match of the day, English champions Beeston made their Euro hockey League title ambitions clear with a crushing 5-0 win over KS Pomorzanin Torun of Poland. Great Britain international Adam Dixon was the star of the show, playing a central role in the success as well as getting on the score-sheet. The result put Beeston firmly in control of their own future, needing just one point from Sunday’s meeting with RC de Polo de Barcelona to assure their place in the Knock-Out phase of the competition. A win, draw or even a narrow defeat against Polo should be enough for the Nottingham based side to reach Easter’s KO16 tournament.
MAYOROV NETS WINNER AS KAZAN EDGE SEKVOIA
Russian champions Dinamo Kazan grabbed a 2-1 win against Olimpia Kolos Sekvoia in the third match of the day in Mülheim. Alexey Mayorov scored what proved to be the winning goal in the third quarter of the match, giving Russia clubs their second win of the day following Dinamo Elektrostal’s earlier victory. The result leaves Kazan puts Kazan top of Pool H with five points, although Sekvoia earned a bonus point due to the narrow nature of their defeat.
HOSTS UHLENHORST MÜLHEIM OVERCOME RESILIENT WIEN
Nine times European Champions HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim made a winning start to their Euro Hockey League campaign, but were forced to work hard by Austrian champions AHTC Wien before emerging as 3-1 winners. Jan Fleckhaus, Ole Keusgen and an own goal from Gerald Natal proved to be enough for the host club to secure a victory in a match that was blighted with heavy rain throughout.
The second day of action in Mülheim will see many of the big beasts of the Euro Hockey League take to the field. Barry Middleton’s East Grinstead (ENG) will aim to begin their campaign with victory over Dinamo Elektrostal at 09:30 (CET), before David Alegre’s Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (ESP) face KS Pomorzanin Torun (POL) at 12:00. Santi Freixa’s Atletic Terrassa (ESP) face AHTC Wien at 14:30, before Teun de Nooijer’s all-star Bloemendaal team do battle with Olimpia Kolos Sekvoia at 17:00.
Full reports of all matches from Day 1 can be found at www.ehlhockey.tv, along with video highlights, official documentation and a full broadcast schedule for the tournament.
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