East Grinstead & Reading join Beeston in EHL KO16

East Grinstead's Ashley Jackson (L) controls the ball in front of Waterloo Ducks' Benjamin Van Hove during their EuroHockey League Round 1.2 game at East Grinstead HC, West Sussex, 28th October 2012.

Hosts East Grinstead joined Men’s Hockey League rivals Reading in progressing to the KO16 of the Euro Hockey League but they had to accept defeat in their second match of the weekend as they went down 2-1 to last season’s EHL bronze medallists Waterloo Ducks. Earlier, Reading had come from behind to beat French side St Germain 2-1 and secure their place in KO16 thanks to goals from Chris Cargo and Tom Carson.

The pair’s success means that all three English sides have progressed following the success of Beeston in Round 1.1 in Barcelona two weeks ago. The KO16 round will take place in April 2013 at a venue as yet to be confirmed. The draw for KO16 and KO8 will be made by the EHL before December.

Waterloo Ducks 2-1 East Grinstead

In the weekend’s final game, Waterloo Ducks got off to the best possible start with a goal inside three minutes that quietened the home crowd and gave their boisterous fans even more to cheer about. A quick exchange of passes scythed through the EG defence with Tanguy Cosyns applying the final touch. The goal sparked the emergence from the East Grinstead bench of GB Olympic star Ashley Jackson, who has missed the past few weeks with injury. But it was the Ducks that struck next again, making it 2-0 in the second quarter through Englishman Ali Brogdon - formerly of Bowdon - whose full length diving connection diverted the ball home. 

From a third quarter penalty corner Rick Gay fired a powerful low shot to half the deficit and give East Grinstead hope of a result. But it was not to be. Four minutes from the end East Grinstead won another penalty corner but found Ducks’ goalkeeper Vincent Vanash up to the task as he thwarted their final effort.  Despite defeat East Grinstead progress from second place in the pool behind Waterloo Ducks with SC Stroitel Brest missing out.

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Reading 2-1 St Germain

A nervy start saw Reading create the better of the chances but it was the French that took the lead through Jean-Baptiste Pauchet, who finished from close range a move that involved an exciting lofted pass straight into the Reading circle.  The Berkshire club, who sit fifth in the Men’s Hockey League, came close on a number of occasions but found themselves behind at the break.

Ireland’s Chris Cargo levelled things after an excellent piece of skill early in the third quarter from Simon Mantell and it looked as if GB and England star Mantell would emerge as Reading’s hero when he was wiped out by the French goalkeeper early in the final quarter. Stepping up to take the resulting penalty stroke the forward failed to get his flick away cleanly and he could only watch as it trickled back off the base of the post with the goalkeeper Martyn Zylbermann wrong footed. A draw though would still be enough and as St Germain lost players to a series of yellow cards Reading pressed on looking for a winner. And it came with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. Good work down the left hand side gave Tom Carson a fairly simple finish in front of goal to send the travelling support into relieved celebrations.

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Rot-Weiss Koln 12-1 AHTC Wien

In the day’s first match Germany’s Rot-Weiss Koln came close to equalling the all time record score for an EHL match of 13-0 as they beat Austrian side AHTC Wien 12-1. Having taken a 9-0 lead at half time it was always going to be hard for the Germans to maintain such momentum in the third and fourth quarters and so it proved with just three more German goals in the final 35 minutes. Marko Miltkau bagged a hat-trick with braces for Marcel Meurer and Christopher Zeller.  The result, coupled with Kelburne’s victory over Wien on Saturday, sends Scottish champions through to KO16 in April.

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Bloemendaal 3-0 Lisnagarvey

And there were celebrations too for Ireland’s entrants Lisnagarvey. The Pool G outsiders got the reward they were hoping for following Saturday’s draw with Lille, a result that set up an intriguing encounter with already-qualified Dutch giants Bloemendaal. The Irish knew that if they lost by less than 5-0 they would progress to KO16 at the French side’s expense. And so it proved. Surviving a number of scares throughout the first three quarters and grateful to some outstanding defensive work they entered the final period level at 0-0. With 12 minutes to go the deadlock was broken though as Freek Martens scored to put Bloemendaal ahead. His goal was followed in quick succession by strikes from Ronald Brouwer and Roel Bovendeert to make it 3-0 with a nervy seven minutes remaining. But the Irish held on, sparking fantastic scenes as their substitutes streamed onto the pitch at final hooter, and giving their highly vocal travelling supporters the perfect send-off. Lisnagarvey will become the first ever team from Northern Ireland to play in KO16 when they appear next year.

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Your next major opportunity to watch fantastic, super charged hockey action is the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals, taking place at Wembley Arena on Sunday 27 January.

Tickets are on sale now starting at just £15 for adults and £6 for U18s, making it a fun, affordable day out. Tickets are available from ticketmaster.co.uk and 0844 815 0815. Book now to secure the best seats in the house. Booking fees apply.