Reading finish 2nd in Pool A and secure spot in EHL's final 16

Richard Mantell Reading Euro Hockey League
Taeke Taekema scored a late winner against Reading in Belgium to secure top place for Amsterdam H&BC in Pool A.
Both teams went into their final game knowing that they had qualified for Easter's KO16 tournament, however there was plenty at stake with the chance to top Pool A and secure a top seed spot going into the KO16 draw.
Simon Mantell Reading Euro Hockey League
Amsterdam took the lead early on through Robert Tigges, but Reading looked the stronger team for much of the first two quarters and were unlucky not to level the game.  Reading brought themselves back into contention early in the third quarter when Simon Mantell flicked home a penalty corner during a period when Amsterdam went down to 10 men following a yellow card for Valentin Verga.
Reading continued to pressure the Dutch Champions but Klaas Veering had a brilliant game in Amsterdam's goal and kept his team in the game.  With just five minutes to go it was Amsterdam H&BC who scored the winning goal with a penalty corner effort from Taekema.
The full match report from Belgium is on the Euro Hockey League website.


Reading got their Euro Hockey League campaign up and running with an excellent 5-0 victory over Cookstown on Friday.

Andy Watts in action for Reading in the men's England Hockey League (EHL)A hat-trick from Andy Watts (pictured, right) and two goals from England and Great Britain international defender Richard Mantell won the points for the Berkshire club, who play Amsterdam on Sunday.

For the full match report from Belgium, click here to go to the Euro Hockey League website.  Visit Reading Hockey Club's website here.

Sunday's showdown with the Dutch takes place at 11:00am UK time and can be seen live on the Euro Hockey League website.


Euro Hockey League Preview

Round 1.2  is in Antwerp, Belgium and takes place from Friday 21st October to Sunday 23rd October.  The action will feature Reading HC who have been drawn in Pool A and will face Cookstown HC and Amsterdam H&BC on Friday and Sunday respectively.  All of the action will be shown on Eurosport2 and there will also be live streaming on www.ehlhockey.tv

Date Time Match ehlhockey.tv Eurosport2
Friday 21 October 12:00 Reading v Cookstown HC Live stream Live
Sunday 23 October 11:00 Amsterdam H&BC v Reading Live stream Live
*broadcast times above are UK time.

men's EHL reading beeston

Here is a closer look at all three teams.

Reading HC (ENG)
2003 European champions Reading HC are playing in the fifth consecutive Euro Hockey League tournament, and come to this event with a fine record in Round 1 competition. The English side have never failed to qualify for the second round, and will be looking to build on last season’s exceptional campaign which saw them claim the Bronze medal thanks to a 3-2 victory against Dutch giants Oranje Zwart. Their squad contains a number of seasoned England and Great Britain internationals such as Jonty Clarke, Iain Mackay, the Mantell brothers and outstanding goalkeeper Nick Brothers.  Reading have made a mixed start to the English National League, having won three of their opening six matches, losing two and drawing once. The side currently sit second in the league table behind Cannock, but have played a game more than all of their rivals. However, the side enter the Euro Hockey League on the back of a 2-1 victory over Bowdon, with Dave Tyler and Simon Mantell scoring the goals.

Amsterdam H&BC (NED)
Amsterdam H&BC  make a welcome return to the Euro Hockey League following their absence from the 2010-2011 Edition of the competition. The 2005 European champions come into the event as the Netherlands’ top ranked team after winning the Dutch Hoofdklasse, and will be considered by many as one of the favourites to lift the Alain Danet Trophy.  Although Amsterdam have lost the services of Spanish international forward Santi Freixa following his recent return to Atlétic Terrassa, the 2009-10 EHL Bronze medallists still have immense quality throughout their ranks. Dutch international forward Valentin Verga has speed and trickery in abundance, while legendary drag-flicker Taeke Taekema will be keen to rattle in a few goals this weekend.  Amsterdam are the current leaders of the Hoofdklasse thanks to a terrific start to the season which saw them claim five wins in their opening seven matches. There can be no doubt that they will be a tough team to beat in Brasschaat.

Cookstown (IRL)
Cookstown became the first ever Northern Irish qualifier for the Euro Hockey League when they won the Irish Senior Cup earlier this year. They were quickly followed into the competition by Irish Hockey League winners Banbridge HC, another club that hails from the North.  Cookstown were given an extremely tough draw for Round 1.2, playing two former European champions in the shape of Reading HC and Amsterdam H&BC. However, they are ready to step up to the challenge and cause an upset.  The team has many fine players, but talented teenage midfielder Ian Sloan is certainly one to watch. The 17-year-old senior Ireland international was the youngest player at the recent EuroHockey Nations Championships and is one of the game’s most exciting prospects. At the weekend, the youngster scored a hat-trick as Cookstown defeated fellow EHL qualifiers Banbridge 4-2, showing that he is in fine form ahead of this weekend’s tournament in Belgium.

Sourced from the Euro Hockey Federation.