CA Montrouge, Reading HC and H.C. Rotterdam were all winners on the opening day of Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.2 event, which is taking place in Antwerp at the home of KHC Dragons. However, the most memorable game of Day 1 came in the evening match between Racing Club Bruxelles and German champions Der Club an der Alster, with the Belgian international striker Tom Boon scoring five times to help his team secure a dramatic 5-5 draw against the champions of Germany. Brief summaries of the matches can be found below.
MONTROUGE HANG ON FOR VICTORY OVER IRISH CHAMPIONS BANBRIDGE
CA Montrouge have given themselves a fantastic chance of reaching their first ever KO16 tournament by defeating Irish champions Banbridge in the opening game of Round 1.2 Brasschaat. The champions of France defeated their opponents 4-3 in a pulsating Pool F clash which started 30 minutes late due to a frozen pitch. Joris Harou scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the third period, giving Montrouge a crucial victory in a Pool which also contains Germany’s UHC Hamburg, Euro Hockey League champions in 2008 and 2010. A draw or a win for Montrouge in Saturday’s match against UHC will be enough to confirm their place at Easter’s KO16 event.
COOKSTOWN CRUSHED BY RAMPANT READING
England’s Reading HC scored goals in all four quarters AS thrash Ireland’s Cookstown 5-0 in the opening game of Pool A. The 2003 European champions were in scintillating form against the Euro hockey League debutants, with Richard Mantell scoring two trademark penalty corners before striker Andy Watts helped himself to a second half hat-trick. The win means that Reading are within touching distance of reaching the KO16 round for a fifth consecutive season, while Cookstown are now left with the mighty task of defeating Amsterdam H&BC to keep alive any chance of reaching the second phase. Reading were worthy winners of this contest, and will be aiming to reproduce their form when they face Amsterdam H&BC on Sunday.
WEUSTHOF AND HERTZBERGER STAR AS ROTTERDAM ROUT ROTWEISS WETTINGEN
H.C. Rotterdam made a glorious return to the Euro Hockey League by destroying Swiss champions HC Rotweiss Wettingen 11-1 in the third game of the day. Dutch international Roderick Weusthof marked his EHL debut with four goals in this Pool E clash, while fellow Netherlands star Jeroen Hertzberger also netted four times in the rout. Hertzberger has now bagged 23 goals in the Euro Hockey League, putting him level with compatriot Ronald Brouwer (HC Bloemendaal) in the all time EHL scoring chart. Rotweiss Wettingen will need to re-group ahead of Saturday’s meeting with host club KHC Dragons, with Rotterdam facing Dragons on Sunday.
FIVE STAR BOON RESCUES RACING FROM DEFEAT AGAINST ALSTER
A big crowd witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Euro Hockey League as Belgium’s Racing Club de Bruxelles claimed a stunning draw against Der Club an der Alster. The evening match was a sensational contest, as Philipp (3) and Jonathan (1) Froschle helped the champions of Germany establish a 5-2 lead against the Racing Rats, who appeared to be a beaten side early in the fourth quarter. However, a tactical masterstroke from coach Jean-Philippe Brule resulted in a sensational turnaround that will live long in the memory of everyone who saw it. Brule decided to go for broke, and replaced his goalkeeper with a kicking back, and the effect was simply staggering. Tom Boon – who had already scored twice in the game – netted three goals in quick succession to drag his team level, before Brule replaced the kicking back with the goal-keeper to ensure that the points were shared.
Full reports and video highlights of the matches can be found at www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
Saturday’s schedule has been adjusted due to predictions of cold overnight temperatures in Belgium. The new start-times can be found below.
11.15 hrs Pool F UHC Hamburg v CA Montrouge
13.30 hrs Pool A Cookstown HC v Amsterdam H&BC
15.45 hrs Pool E HC Rotweiss Wettingen v KHC Dragons
18.15 hrs Pool D Der Club an der Alster v Club de Campo Madrid
Source: Euro Hockey League Media Release.
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