EG and Beeston Through in Europe

While their England Hockey League opponents were in domestic action around the country this weekend, East Grinstead and Beeston were in Paris to secure their safe passage to the second round of the Euro Hockey League.

For East Grinstead, a place in KO16 - set to take place in the Netherlands in April 2010 - was netted thanks to a 4-1 win over KS AZS AWF Poznan on Friday and a narrow defeat to Amsterdam H&BC.

Gareth Carr's double and goals from Ben Payne and David De Prez gave EG the best possible start to the weekend despite never really hitting top gear.  Carr was again on target against Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon but the Dutch hit back through Rob Reckers and Jan Willem Buissant to win 2-1 and after Amsterdam thrashed Poznan 6-0 East Grinstead's progress was sealed.

In Pool F, Beeston were playing in their first ever Euro Hockey League campaign and will be delighted at emerging from a tough group ahead of the hosts St Germain and last season's Euro Hockey League fourth placed side KHC Leuven of Belgium.  On Saturday, the Nottingham-based side met a Leuven team fresh from a 7-1 defeat of St Germain and it was the European new boys, playing in Europe for the first time in nearly a decade, who emerged victorious thanks to goals from England & GB international Martin Jones (2) and Australian Andrew Monte. 

There was drama in the final game of the weekend as St Germain and Beeston met to determine who would progress to round two.  Cheered on by a loud and encouraging home support the French pressured the resolute and well-organised Beeston defence but as the match wore on it was Beeston who looked more likely to score and so it was, with just over a minute remaining, that Wayne Rowland knocked the ball over the line from close range to send Beeston through to KO16.

Beeston and East Grinstead join Reading in the next round after Reading progressed from their pool in Round 1a a fortnight ago in Spain.

The venue for KO16 will be announced by the Euro Hockey League on its website (www.ehlhockey.tv) on Thursday 12 November 2009 with the draw following a week late on Thursday 19 November.