With Round 1.2 of the Euro Hockey League finishing in East Grinstead on Sunday, all 16 teams for Easter’s KO16 competition are now known. The tournament still features three Dutch, three German, three English and three Belgian teams as well as two clubs from Spain. Glynhill Hotel Kelburne (SCO) and Lisnagarvey HC (IRE) make the Top 16 complete.
Day 3 at Euro Hockey League Round 1.2 in East Grinstead saw Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), Glynhill Hotel Kelburne (SCO), Reading HC (ENG) and Lisnagarvey HC (IRE) grabbing the four remaining spots for Easter’s KO16 tournament. KHC Dragons (BEL), HC Bloemendaal (NED), host club East Grinstead HC (ENG) and Waterloo Ducks (BEL) had already sealed qualification on Day 2.
AHTC Wien (AUT), Saint Germain HC (FRA), Lille MHC (FRA) and SC Stroitel Brest (BLR) finished last in their Pools, meaning that they are eliminated from the competition.
Round 1.2 saw Rot-Weiss Köln setting a new EHL record in their match against Wien. The halftime score of 9-0 is the biggest halftime lead in EHL history. HC Bloemendaal became the second team in EHL history to have scored more than 100 goals in the competition. Bloemendaal are now on 103 goals in total, with fellow Dutch outfit H.C. Rotterdam out in front with 112 goals to their name.
KHC Dragons surprised with their 4-3 win over English champions Reading HC. As the Belgian runners-up had defeated Saint Germain 2-1 in the opening match, the 2012 EHL Bronze medallists qualified as Pool winners for KO16. The winner was scored by team captain Jeffrey Thys. Earlier, Loïck Luypaert had marked the 1,200th goal in EHL history.
Reading HC eventually continued their fine record of never failing to clinch Round 2 qualification when they narrowly defeated Saint Germain 2-1 on Sunday. On six points, the English league champions have followed the Belgian league runners-up into the next Round. Suffering two narrow defeats the French league runners-up are eliminated from this year’s competition. They have participated in four EHL campaigns so far, reaching KO16 in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Waterloo Ducks topped Pool D after defeating Round 1.2 hosts East Grinstead HC 2-1 on their home turf. It is the first time in their fourth EHL appearance that the Belgian side will enter a Round 2 tournament as Pool winners. SC Stroitel Brest from Belarus finished last in the Pool as they lost the opening match 5-0 to East Grinstead and Saturday’s match 4-0 to the Belgian champions. Stroitel left the competition without having scored a single goal. A draw against the Ducks would have been enough for Grinstead to become first in the Pool but the final whistle blew before Grinstead could find an equaliser.
Northern Irish Lisnagarvey HC caused a significant upset when their match against HC Bloemendaal finished with just a 3-0 defeat. This result made the all-Ireland champions qualify for KO16 being the first-ever team from Northern Ireland to reach the knock-out stage. Although Bloemendaal’s performance was not their most convincing, it still helped to win the Pool and to equal the EHL victory record of 18 that is held by EHL triple champions Uhlenhorster HC (GER). French champions Lille MHC remained bottom in the Pool due to their 7-2 loss against Bloemendaal on Friday. So far, the French side have never reached the knock-stage. On Saturday Lisnagarvey set up the greatest comeback in EHL history when they pulled back to a 3-3 draw after having been trailing 3-0 at halftime. On 68 of 70 occasions a team trailing 3-0, went on to lose the match.
Rot-Weiss Köln grabbed the first place in Pool H after their huge 12-1 victory over AHTC Wien. The Austrian champions finished last in the Pool and could not realise their aim of becoming the first Austrian team to reach KO16 qualification. Second-ranked Glynhill Hotel Kelburne (SCO) will join Cologne in Round 2. The Scottish champions secured their second rank thanks to their convincing 3-1 win against Wien. However, the Scots suffered an 8-1 defeat in Friday’s opening match against German league runners-up Cologne. Marco Miltkau contributed five goals to Cologne’s victories lifting his EHL total to 23. This number saw him overtake Guillermo “Willi” Schickendantz in the EHL all-time scorers list. Miltkau is now ranked third behind Bloemendaal’s Ronald Brouwer and leading Jeroen Hertzberger (HC Rotterdam).
Another eight teams had already qualified for Round 2 at the EHL Round 1.1 held in Barcelona two weeks ago: Beeston HC (ENG), Amsterdam H&BC (NED), HC Rotterdam (NED), Berliner HC (GER), Atlètic Terrassa (ESP), Royal Léopold THC (BEL), HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER) and Club de Campo (ESP).
Euro Hockey League will continue with Rounds 2&3 to be played at Easter 2013 (29 March – 1 April). Join “Euro Hockey League” on facebook and follow “@ehlhockeytv” on twitter.
More information about the tournament – including video highlights, action photos, match summaries and all official documentation – is available on www.ehlhockey.tv , the official website of the Euro Hockey League.
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