Host club HTC Uhlenhorst produced a superb performance in front of a big crowd to defeat Spanish champions Atlétic Terrassa on the final day of Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.1 event in Mülheim (GER). German international striker Thilo Stralkowski (pictured) was among the scorers as the nine-time winners of the old European Cup completed a superb debut weekend in the EHL which saw them qualify for Easter’s KO16 event as the top ranked team from Pool B. English duo East Grinstead and Beeston were the winners of Pools G and C respectively, while Teun de Nooijer’s HC Bloemendaal claimed top spot in Pool H. Dinamo Kazan (RUS), Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS), RC Polo de Barcelona (ESP) and Atletic Terrassa (ESP) also reached the knock-out stages courtesy of claiming the runner up spots in each Pool. More information about each of the games can be found below.
DUTKIEWICZ DOUBLE NOT ENOUGH AS GRINSTEAD WIN POOL G
A double strike from Polish international defender Tomasz Dutkiewicz was not enough to save WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL) from being eliminated from the EHL as his side fell to a 3-2 defeat against East Grinstead of England. Field goals from Mark Gleghorne and Danny Hall either side of an Ashley Jackson penalty stroke proved to be enough to give East Grinstead a narrow win which confirmed their status as the winners of Pool G. They will be joined at Easter’s KO16 competition by HC Dinamo Elektrostal of Russia, who finished as pool runners up courtesy of their 5-4 victory over Grunwald on Friday.
BEESTON WIN POOL G THANKS TO VICTORY OVER RC POLO
English champions Beeston made it two wins from two Pool C matches with a 3-1 triumph over Spain’s Real Club de Polo de Barcelona. David Ames opened the scoring with a stunning reverse stick strike before Polo levelled thanks to a blistering penalty corner flick from Gabriel Dabanch. However, an own goal from Alex Casasayas and a wonderful open play deflection from Jonathan Beckers ensured that Beeston finished the weekend with a 100 per cent win record in Mülheim. The Bees will go into the draw for KO16 as the top seeded team from Pool C, meaning that they will avoid other Round 1 Pool winners in the second phase of the competition. RC Polo will join them in the draw, but their second place finish means that they are certain to face a Pool winner at Easter’s KO16 event.
SPANISH CHAMPIONS BEATEN AS HOSTS UHLENHORST TAKE TOP SPOT
HTC Uhlenhorst thrilled the home fans with a superb 4-2 victory over Santi Freixa’s Atlétic Terrassa in the third game of the day. A large crowd turned out to cheer on the hosts against the Spanish champions, and they were treated to a hugely entertaining and fiercely contested match. Uhlenhorst grabbed an early lead through Johannes Schmidt before Spanish international Roc Oliva lashed home a reverse stick shot just after the break. However, the German outfit scored three times before the end of the third quarter through the ever-impressive Thilo Stralkowski, Jan Fleckhaus and Mülheim captain Jan Philippe Rabente to effectively seal the win before Atlétic’s Albert Beltran netted a consolation goal for the Spaniards in the final quarter. Both HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim and Atletic Terrassa have qualified for Easter’s KO16 event, with Uhlenhorst taking the top seeding due to their two wins this weekend.
KAZAN DEFEATED BY BLOEMENDAAL IN RAIN AFFECTED FINAL MATCH
Teun de Nooijer’s HC Bloemendaal emerged as 3-1 winners against Russian champions HC Dinamo Kazan in a match greatly affected by heavy rain and a difficult playing surface. The players battled against the elements in a bid to provide a fitting end to an entertaining weekend of hockey, but struggled to find any consistency in the atrocious playing conditions. Nick Meijer gave Bloemendaal the lead in the first quarter when he tapped in from close range following an incisive attacking move before the rapidly deteriorating conditions nullified the attacking threat of the Dutch giants. Despite this, Ronald Brouwer and Stijn Jolie – brother of Bloemendaal and Netherlands star Wouter – took the score to 3-0 before Kazan scored a fourth quarter consolation through Ravshanzhon Zakirov. Both sides will go through to Easter’s KO16 event, with Bloemendaal taking the crucial top seed which will see them face a Pool runner up in Round 2.
Full reports of all matches from Day 3 can be found at www.ehlhockey.tv, along with video highlights and all official documentation.
Following the completion of Round 1.1, the EHL bandwagon will head to Belgium for Round 1.2 which takes place at KHC Dragons, near Antwerp. The tournament begins on Friday 21st October, and will feature big clubs including Dutch giants H.C. Rotterdam and Amsterdam H&BC. For information regarding ticket sales for this event, please visit www.ehlhockey.tv .
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