English clubs exit Euro Hockey League

East Grinstead became the third English side to lose in the Euro Hockey League quarter finals following Reading’s defeat to KHC Dragons earlier on Monday and Beeston’s loss to UHC Hamburg on Sunday.

Barry Middleton in action for East Grinstead at the Euro Hockey League KO16 2011-2012 (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

East Grinstead went down 3-1 to the hosts of the weekend’s action with a double from Jeroen Hertzberger and one from Roderick Weustof late on doing the damage.  At 2-0 down Great Britain international Mark Gleghorne netted from a third quarter penalty corner but EG could not find an equaliser despite a good effort from Danny Hall as the game entered its final five minutes.  And there was to be a sucker punch when Weustof was presented with a relatively simple finish from close range after good work by Rotterdam down the East Grinstead left.

It was East Grinstead’s first appearance in the quarter finals since 2009, when they lost 3-2 to another Dutch side, HC Bloemendaal.

Richard Mantell in action for Reading at the Euro Hockey League KO16 (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Earlier in the day, Reading’s men played out one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament in Rotterdam but ultimately lost out 3-1 to Belgium’s KHC Dragons.

The Blues found themselves behind to a Stephen Butler goal at half time but an equaliser from Andy Watts in the third quarter set up a thrilling final spell.

Both teams had opportunities to win the game in the fourth period but defensive heroes emerged on both sides, notably Reading captain Richard Springham whose full length forward dive blocked perfectly on the penalty spot.

As happened last season, the match between the Dragons and Reading went to extra time but unlike in 2011, it was settled by the silver goal, rather than penalties.  Two and a half minutes from the end of extra time, Dragons’ captain Jeffrey Thys finished from the centre of the circle following a flowing counter attack to put the Belgians 2-1 ahead.  Needing to chase the game, Reading withdrew goalkeeper Nick Brothers in favour of a kicking back but the move did not pay off as the Blues lost possession in the midfield and Renaud Pangrazio ran thirty metres before slotting the ball home into the unguarded net to make it 3-1.

Mark Wadsley in action for Beeston in the Euro Hockey League KO8 (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

On Sunday, Beeston dropped out of this year’s Euro Hockey League at the quarter finals stage as they lost 7-1 to Germany’s UHC Hamburg in Rotterdam.

2-1 down at the end of the first quarter, Beeston found themselves 4-1 down at half time. With no goals in the third period there was still hope of a Beeston fightback as they entered the final quarter but a penalty corner goal two minutes into the quarter ended the Nottinghamshire side’s dreams of an appearance in the final four.

The Germans weren’t finished and they added two more on the break as Beeston continued to play right to the end.  Stephen Lawrence was Beeston’s goal scorer from a first quarter penalty corner.

Read the full match reports and watch highlights of the games on www.ehlhockey.tv.

England Hockey League Championships

Beeston and Reading will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s Men’s England Hockey League Championships fixture.  The winner of that match at Bisham Abbey will go forward into Sunday’s Championships final against East Grinstead at Reading Hockey Club’s Sonning Lane ground. That match takes place as part of the Investec Women’s Finals Weekend with ten great matches played over two days.

Find out more about the showpiece finale to the domestic season here.

To book your tickets to see two of England’s biggest clubs go head to head, click here or visit http://tickets.englandhockey.co.uk.

Don't forget that tickets are also on sale for the Investec London Cup, featuring Great Britain's women against the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, South Africa and Ireland. 

Visit www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/investeclondoncup for tournament information and tickets.