Grinstead suffer semi-final heartbreak in Europe.

Nick Catlin bursts forwards with the ball Credit Frank Uijlenbroek

WKS Grunwald Poznan 4 (3)
Artur Mikula 3 (FG)
Pawel Bratkowski 14 (PC)
Tomasz Marcinkowski 18 (PC)
Mateusz Poltaszewski 40 (FG)

East Grinstead 4 (2)
Simon Faulkner 8 (PC)
Josep Farres-Palet 10, 33 (FG, FG)
Nick Catlin 36 (FG)

The stakes were raised to their highest for East Grinstead. After their humbling at the hands of Uhlenhorst Mulheim on Friday they knew only a positive result would do against Polish side WKS Grunwald Poznan.

A physical hard fought encounter ensued swinging from one end of the field to the other.

Artur Mikula drew first blood for the poles but East Grinstead responded with a penalty corner from Captain Simon Faulkner levelling it up and then Jose Farres-Palet’s strike giving the English side the lead. Pawel Bratkowski and Tomasz Marcinkowski struck back to send the Piles in at the break 3-2 ahead. Mateusz Poltaszewski levelled it right at the end but with

Both sides threw caution to the wind and Farres-Palet nabbed his second to bring the scores level. With time running out Nick Catlin put EG ahead. Only for Mateusz Poltaszewski to square it up at the death. That meant England’s representatives would need a win from Mulheim to help them through.  

Catlin said afterwards:

“It was a typical indoor game, feisty and pretty physical. We knew that Grunwald would be hard to beat. They are well organised, and it would be a close game.”

“We knew we had to be patient on the ball. Solid defensively and break down their zone, which we did well.”

“It was disappointing to concede the late goal and with a bit more composure my goal may have been the winner. However it’s still an important goal but now we need a favour from the Germans.”

Semi-Final:

SV Arminen  3 (1)
Sebastian Eitenberger 19, 32 (FG, FG)
Manuel Grandits 37 (FG)

East Grinstead  2 (1)
Ben Allberry 2 (FG)
Ross Stott 34 (FG)

Mulheim provided the necessary result which sent East Grinstead into the semi-finals where they faced hosts SV Arminen.

They showed they were worth their semi-final place opening the scoring in the 11th minute from a free out and a long ball into the D, deflected in by Ben Allberry. The equaliser came via Eitenberger in the 19th minute and the score was 1-1 at the half. EG had a great chance in the 23rd minute as Faulkner found himself with a free shot but the goalkeeper denied him. Arminen  slowed the tempo, patiently building from the back, looking for the gaps. In the 28th minute EG won possession but a shot from Catlin went over the bar. EG were under pressure but defending very well, a defensive slip led to a break for Arminen and Eitenberger nabbed his second. The English side equalised via a lovely lofted finish by Ross Stott with six minutes left.  However with three minutes on the clock Arminen went ahead again, as Grandits kept his cool to make it 3-2.

EG went for the power play with two minutes to play.  They threw everything forwards from the back but the clock ran down and the final score was 3-2 in favour of the hosts. East Grinstead would play Amsterdam in the bronze medal match.

East Grinstead's final game is against Amsterdam in the bronze medal match.

All the results, fixtures and standings for the competition can be found here.

All the matches can be watched live on the EHF website here.