Match 5 – Royal Leopold 9 SG Amsicora 3
Dabanch hits SG Amsicora for seven of the best
Gabriel Dabanch’s seven goals put Royal Leopold on course for a comfortable 9-3 win over SG Amsicora, setting up a Pool C showdown with Dinamo Elektrostal for top spot and a ticket to the KO16. His goals saw the Belgian side overcome their Italian opposition who showed some initial promise, equalising at 1-1 through Luca Angius in the first quarter. But Dabanch quickly helped his side race clear and they never looked in danger after that. The Spaniard – an EHL winner last year with Oranje Zwart – got Leo off to a great start from turnover ball, smashing the ball past Marcello Manca from close range. Angius equalised soon after, though, when he controlled a crash ball at the left post and shot with his second touch, bouncing off both posts before the ball dropped over the line.
But Leopold were in no mood to let this affect their mentality. Dabanch ripped in a second goal from a corner before Tanguy Zimmer hit the post from a rebound. Dabanch’s innovative behind the back shot extended the lead to 3-1 at half-time and his second corner flick, high over Manca’s head, stretched the advantage further. Scott van Strydonck’s powerful flick made it 5-1 by three quarter time. Angius pulled another one back early in the final stanza before Zimmer and Dabanch corner goals extended the lead once more, moving to 7-3. Amsicora were not done, though, and got another back via Gabriele Murgia with a low drag-flick. Dabanch’s close range finish and another drag-flick completed the rout.
Match 6 Club Egara 1 v East Grinstead 0
Romeu fires Egara to important Pool D win
Pep Romeu’s single goal earned Club Egara a 1-0 win over East Grinstead that puts them in great shape to advance to the KO16, needing a draw on Sunday to top Pool D. Patrick Smith kept East Grinstead in the game in the first half, running up a quartet of great stops with Eduardo Arbos the man most often frustrated by the goalkeeper’s dexterity.
Twice Smith blocked Arbos on the backhand while another effort pinged the right post as Egara created the best of the first half chances. The goalkeeper was at it again in the second half with two more big stops but he was eventually beaten by Pep Romeu who powered in a drag-flick. From that point, East Grinstead started to push forward with much more purpose and won a couple of penalty corners but Adam Seccull fired one over and Simon Faulkner saw another one saved by Quico Cortes.
They could not break through as Egara stood firm and recorded their 1-0 win.
Match 7 – AH&BC Amsterdam 19 v KS Pomorzanin Torun 2
Record breaking Amsterdam beat Pomorzanin
Amsterdam broke the EHL goalscoring record as they beat KS Pomorzanin Torun 19-2 in Pool A, setting up a showdown with Saint Germain tomorrow for the top spot in the group. The game was dead as a contest very early on as Justin Reid-Ross fired home two penalty corners inside seven minutes before Mirco Pruyser and Kenny Bain made it 4-0 at quarter-time.
Both Bain and Pruyser went on to score four times each while Reid-Ross completed his hat trick in the second half. Pomorzanin did get a couple back, Michal Kunklewski to make it 7-1 and Volodymyr Stretovych for 11-2, but they were overwhelmed by their most experienced hosts. Sander ’t Hart and Robert Tigges scored two while there were also goals for Jan-Willem Buissant, Valentin Verga, Teun Rohof and Max Sweering.
The goal tally outdid the 14-2 win for Bloemendaal over Pomorzanin last year in the KO16, making it the highest scoring game.
Match 8 – HC Wien 0 v Grange HC 0
Wien and Grange off the mark in Pool B
HC Wien and Grange recorded their first draw each in the Euro Hockey League as they shared a 0-0 deadlock in Round 1 in Pool B. There was precious little between the sides throughout with both defences on top for much of the game. It made for few chances in the opening quarter as each circle was defended superbly. The second quarter saw a few chinks of light appearing with the Austrian side first to try their luck, winning two corners but Lukasz Staniczek fired his drag-flick over.
At the far end, Cammy Fraser was having an influence in midfield while his two slapped corner shots wreaked havoc. One of them led to the ball crossing the goal line but only seconds after the whistle had gone for a corner, meaning the first half ended 0-0. A similar fate befell Frank Ryan in the second half as he potted from close range but the play had been called back for an earlier HC Wien foot. Michal Zdrojewski made a couple of good saves while Staniczek then took another Ryan shot off the line as Grange upped the ante as time went on with Todd Harmsworth a constant menace. But they could not find the golden chance to put away. It means Grange miss out on the KO16 but HC Wien have a chance to qualify if they can surprise Harvestehuder on Sunday evening.
Image Credit: Main Photograph RLC’s Zimmer Tanguy penalty corner. Euro Hockey League/Frank Uijlenbroek. These images may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of the EHL or the photographer.