Hat-trick heroes help Holcombe hammer Poznan

Hat-trick hero Sam Ward celebrates scoring in the EHL. Credit Euro Hockey League

Holcombe HC 8
Harry Trusler 8, 42, 50 (FG, FG, FG)
Nicholas Bandurak 28 (FG)
Samuel Ward 38, 43, 57 (FG, FG, FG)
Robert Field 52 (PC)

KS AZS AWF Poznan 1
Patryk Pawlak 50 (PS)

Trebles from Harry Trusler and Sam Ward fired Holcombe to an 8-1 win over KS AZS AWF Poznan in a superb debut in the Euro Hockey League.

Trusler gave the Kent side the lead early on; securing the honour of Holcombe’s first European goal in the process. The No17 struck two more to complete his hat-trick whilst England striker Sam Ward also helped himself to three goals. Nick Bandurak and Rob Field also netted with Patryk Pawlak notching a consolation for the Polish side.

Early on Holcombe set up their press just inside the Polish half, occasionally sending a man to put pressure on the defence before swamping the midfield ensuring a series of successful turnovers and a series of threatening raids on the Poznan goal. The opener came from a driving run forwards by Dan Fox. His pass caused confusion in the Poznan defence and Trusler was on hand to loft in his first of the match and Holcombe's first goal in Europe.

The second quarter was all Holcombe with Poznan not really threatening. Despite all the pressure Julian Halls’ side could only find one goal in the second period. Just before half-time long ball played into the circle found Bandurak whose backhand strike beat the goalkeeper at the near post to make it 2-0 to Holcombe.

Ward added his name to the score sheet, guiding home a left win cross from close range before turning provider moments later, crossing for Trusler to slot home. Ward added his second with a delightful sliding backhand, lofting the ball over the goalkeeper before Trusler converted Barry Middleton’s cross to complete his hat-trick.

Pawlak clawed one back from the penalty spot but Field converted a penalty corner and Ward tapped in his third to make it 8-1, sending Holcombe into tomorrow’s big game with Kampong brimming with confidence.

Holcombe's second match of the EHL is against reigning champions Kampong, tomorrow at 5pm. Watch live on http://ehlhockey.tv/