It was still all to play for on the final day at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Dundee as the final four games got underway:
Match 17 – Ards v Highway HC Final score Ards 2 Highway 3
Highway went half court immediately. Ards in contrast pressed high up the court. End to end in the first 2 minutes. But from their first penalty corner Highway. take the lead with a Bosolova flick. 1-0 Highway after 5 minutes. Ards went on the attack but it faded out with a missed trap just outside the D. Another Ards attack brought a sharp save from Turker. Ards time out at 10 minutes. Game had become cagier since the Highway goal. Ards continued to attack and Chloe Brown brought out a great low diving save from Turker. Highway won a penalty corner to Highway after a stick tackle It’s saved on the line. A stroke to Highway? The Umpires consult. No Another corner and Bosolova again converts 2-0 Highway. With 5 minutes to go in the half Ards were still in the game and after a dazzling Brown run Ards won a penalty corner.Great dash and block Turker but Ards got the ball back in the D. Brown shoots and scores. Ards1 Highway 2. Highway drove into the D straight from pushbackand won a penalty corner. Superb tip over McKnight from great Bosolova flick. Half ends 2-1 Highway
Stunning start by Highway who scored through Kartanovic in the first 30 seconds.All Highway in the first 4 minutes of the 2nd half. But Brown of Ards had a great run and shot. Goal! No.Chalked off for lifting. It was end to end after this Benson shooting wide for Ards and Highway having a “goal” disallowed.An Ards penalty corner after great Benson run. They tried the switch .It doesn’t come off . Disappointment again for the Irish who may rue these missed opportunities. Another great run by Benson but her pass is intercepted and Highway gain the penalty corner.After a super charge out by Benson. Ards went straight up the court and Benson scored. 3-2 Highway with 4 minutes to go. Both sides had opportunities but with 40 seconds left Ards Brown had the final chance but dragged the ball wide. It’s over.Highway 3 Ards 2
Match 18 – Wanderers v Mladost FinalScore Wanderers 5 Mladost 3
This was a vital game for both sides.Wanderers going for 5th spot and Mladost fighting to avoid relegation.After only 10 seconds Bunce struck on goal .Save Zlomislic. Wanderers fired the ball around trying to draw out Mladost. But Mladost showed their courage and skill by fighting their way back into game and only a series of great saves from Dow prevented Mladost from taking a shock lead. But on a quick counter attack Bunce shot and gained a penalty corner which Bunce herself converted. 1-0 Wanderers after 6minutes. Mladost were not to be denied and after sustained pressure they equalised through Dervaric in the 16th minute. Straight from pushback Wanderers won a penalty corner and this time it was Osbourne who flicked to restore Wanderers lead. 2-1 Wanderers. But to round off an incredible 3 minutes Mladost equalised again through Franic. The half ends 2-2
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw chances for both sides for whom both keepers Dow and Zlomislic were outstanding. The deadlock was broken in the 31st minute when Mladost took the lead with a Dervaric field goal.Was a shock on the cards and would Mladost perform the great escape and relegate Ards? Mladost lead 3-2. Wanderers responded by playing their best hockey of the tie, mounting wave after wave of attacks but Mladost stood firm. Bunce gained a penalty corner with a great dribble. Her first shot was saved but she equalised from the resultant corner. 3-3 with four minutes on the clock. Wanderers showed no mercy scoring another two goals in the final three minutes through youngsters Watson and Dark. Final score Wanderers 5 Mladost 3. Joy for Wanderers who finish 5th. Despair for the gallant Mladost who are relegated.
Match 19 – Final Score Bowdon Hightown 1 HC Rotweiss Wettingen 4
Before this penultimate game in Pool C Bowdon,Rotweiss and Pingouin were all still potential Trophy winners. But one thing was certain Bowdon had to beat Rotweiss. Both teams began playing a high press trying to put pressure on the respective defences. The first 4 minutes was end to end action but the deadlock was broken in the 5th minute with a Tamara Trosch field goal for Rotweiss. Rotweiss then immediately switched to a deeper half- court defence and Bugmann nearly made this tactic pay off with a great break and shot which flew narrowly past. Humphries was then robbed in her D leading to a penalty corner for Rotweiss. But Amy Tennant was up to the challenge and she charged down the flick superbly.Tina Cullen of Bowdon then began to show her class with first a great steal and shot which just missed and a swift interchange with Holly Hunt which led to a free just outside the Rotweiss D. But the outstanding Rotweiss defence held out. The courageous Stephanie Walti, playing with stitches in her forehead after an injury in the previous game, missed a great chance in the 12th minute. She made no mistake just 60 seconds later when she struck to put Rotweiss 2 nil up. Sally Walton then made a typical driving run down the boards but she was robbed and Rotweiss again drove forward in a counter attack typical of this fierce encounter. Attack and counter attack followed and Michelle Liptrot brought a fine save out of the Rotweiss keeper Flurina Walti in the 19th minute.Bowdon then won a penalty corner with just 30 seconds on the clock. Sally Walton fired the flick home to seemingly get her team back in the match but after consultation the umpires chalked it off. Half-time Rotweiss lead Bowdon 2 -0.
As the 2nd half got going Rotweiss had the gold in their grasp but Hunt had other ideas and her run led to a Trosch green card. Once again it was end to end stuff with both Walti and Tennant making a series of saves in a pulsating first 10 minutes which flew by. However Stephanie Walti broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with her second goal. Bowdon then went all out to try and get back in the match and mounted wave after wave of attacks with Cullen,Walton and Lisa Garbutt all going agonisingly close. But as before the Rotweiss defence showed the form that took them to the top of the pool. And in the 35th minute Jessica Aebi broke English hearts with a goal to put Rotweiss 4 nil up and surely win them the gold. However, if they were beaten nobody told Bowdon and their attitude was rewarded with a Sally Walton goal from a penalty corner in the 38th minute. But this was a consolation effort for Bowdon as time ran out with Rotweiss’s delight only marred by a yellow card for Trosch almost on the final hooter.
Rotweiss win the match 4-1 and are worthy winners of the Champions Trophy. The only team to go through the tournament undefeated.
Match 20 – Final score Royal Pingouin 7 Iris Hockey Lambersart 2
Gold may have been decided but silver and bronze plus the second promotion slot was still up for grabs. The Iris coach, determined to go for a big win, left his outstanding keeper Anne-Sophie Daire on the bench and started with a kicking back. A bold move. But one that didn’t initially appear to work when Helene Delmee gave the Pingouins the lead in just the 3rd minute. Pingouin 1 Iris 0 Both sides were going all out for the win.Tackles were flying in and it was fast, fast, fast. The extra outfield player still didn’t seem to be making the difference for Iris but Pingouin couldn’t capitalise on the absence of a keeper. However after a Pingouin time out in the 9th minute they extended their lead when Gaelle Valcke scored another field goal just 60 seconds later. Iris then went all out on attack winning penalty corners and bringing Regulski into action from these and outfield play. Chances but no goals for the French. The last 2 minutes of the first half were crucial to not only this match but the final destination of the silver medal and promotion. A quick break out of defence by Pingouin and Raes scores to make it 3-0. Straight from the restart the Belgians won a penalty corner and Alix Perrocheau flicked home on the stroke of half-time . Half-time Pingouins 4 Iris 0
As the second half started the Iris coach has brought on a keeper but it’s not Daire. It’s Zoe Agrain. But this change in tactics didn’t seem to change the pattern of the game. Pingouins held on to the ball with great inter passing across the back springing forward to release Valcke for a field goal to make it 5-0 in the 5th minute. Pingouins must surely now be the silver medal winners. And despite showing great skill and spirit Iris could not any sort of foothold in the game. Playing on the counter Pingouin again went up court and won a penalty corner with 10 minutes to go. A superb slip from from Hausenner to Valcke and she slots home into an empty net. 6-0 to Pingouins. But Iris would not lie down and within a minute they had reduced the deficit with a Lecas field goal. A reward for Iris’s spirit and determination. Pingouins 6 Iris 1 However Pingouins restored their 6 goal lead with a superb Perrocheau flick and goal from a penalty corner after just 2 minutes. Pingouins 7 Iris 1. The French champions just did not know when they were beaten and with virtually the last hit of the game they scored their second goal.An Elysee Ecas field goal. Final score. Pingouins 7 Iris 1
Rotweiss Wettingen win gold and promotion
Pingouins win silver and promotion
Bowdon Hightown win bronze
Top Goal Scorer – Joint Winners
Sally Walton-Bowdon Hightown
Vicki Bunce-MJV Dundee Wanderers
Amy Tennant-Bowdon Hightown
Becky Ward -MJV Dundee Wanderers
Links to YOU TUBE STREAM:
EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup, Minsk
EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy, Dundee