Leicester's European charge halted

Leicester came a whisker away from securing promotion back to the top flight in indoor European club hockey on Sunday but they were beaten to second place in Abbeville by Scottish side Dundee Wanderers, who finished ahead of the 2010 English indoor champions by just two goals.

In their crucial head-to-head clash on Sunday, Leicester led 1-0 going into the break thanks to England and Great Britain international Chloe Rogers’ 13th minute penalty corner but eight minutes into the second half Amy Rowan netted the crucial equaliser that meant Leicester could not leapfrog the Scots.

Leicester women celebrate winning the 2010 National Indoor Hockey Championships with their Pukkas Pies sponsor

In their opening match on day one, Leicester got off to a good start with an 8-3 victory over Belgian side ARA La Gantoise, who were ultimately relegated at the end of Sunday.  The girls in orange were never behind in the match with four goals from Rogers complemented by finishes from her international colleagues Beckie Herbert (2), Kerry Williams and Gemma Darrington.  On Friday afternoon, against eventual winners SV Arminen from Austria, goals were exchanged in a tit-for-tat fashion as Rogers twice equalised 60 seconds after Leicester fell 1-0 and 2-1 down. But there was no reply following Arminen captain Kristine Vukovich’s 24th minute penalty corner goal and Leicester went down 3-2.

Leciester women indoor hockey 2010Up first on Saturday morning, a 4-2 win over TJ Slavia Hrdec Kralove of the Czech Republic sealed Leicester’s passage to the promotion pool, Pool C, where they would face Wanderers and their French hosts Abbeville; their defeat to Arminen was also carried forward.  After falling behind, Captain Vanessa Hawkins restored parity but Leicester again fell behind before the break.  In the second half, two goals inside a minute turned the match on its head with young Lauren Turner adding a third after Kerry Williams’ had scored to make it 2-2.  And with two minutes remaining Chloe Rogers sealed the victory from the penalty spot.

And it was Rogers to the fore again against Abbeville. The 25-year-old from Essex scored all three of Leicester's goals against the hosts to set up the promotion showdown with Dundee Wanderers.

The draw with Wanderers meant the two sides finished locked together on six points, four behind winners Arminen, but having conceded five goals to the Dundee side’s three and with both teams having scored five each, Leicester were placed third.

Bowdon Hightown will represent England in Europe next year after winning the 2011 super sixes National Indoor Finals at Wembley Arena.