East Grinstead crash out of Europe

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A goalkeeping masterclasss from England goalkeeper Paddy Smith was not enough to keep East Grinstead's European hopes alive as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Spain's Club Egara on Saturday.

Having been held on Friday by Ireland's Monkstown, the Sussex side went into Saturday's clash with Egara knowing they needed a positive result to have any chance of progressing.

Smith was in inspired form in the first half making a string of outstanding saves as East Grinstead weathered the early storm. The England goalkeeper kept out Eduardo Arbos on more than one occasion, once on the backhand and the onto the post before making two more important saves in quick succession. There was nothing he could do in the 33rd minute however as Pep Romeu powered a penalty corner to give Egara a precious lead.

East Grinstead crept back into the game and were close to an equaliser on more than on occasion. Adam Seccull fired a penalty corner over and Simon Faulkner saw another one saved by Quico Cortes, as Egara stood firm and recorded their 1-0 win.

The defeat means that England's sole remaining representative in the EHL this year is Wimbledon, who will play in the KO16 in April.

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