The first day of women’s EuroHockey Challenge events got underway with some sparkling and goal-heavy encounters. Spectators were in for a treat as elite players from across the globe, including the 2016 and 2017 FIH Rising Star Maria Granatto, demonstrated their skills in top quality and highly competitive encounters.
EuroHockey Challenge I
The EuroHockey Club Challenge 1 kicked off with a scintillating day of hockey in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
CUS Pisa vs Braxgata HC 0-9
The first day saw Italian qualifiers CUS Pisa take on the experienced Belgian side of Braxgata. The experience in the Braxgata side, which featured several international stars, showed as they ran out deserved 9-0 winners with Shaunda Ikegwuonu, Louise Versavel and Silke Steenackers all scoring twice.
Gintra Strekte University vs Clydesdale Western 2-4
The second game in Group B saw Scottish side Clydesdale Western beat Lithuanian students Gintra Strekte University 4-2 in a disciplined performance. Susie Gilman and Jennifer Eadie put the Scottish team ahead in the first half although their lead was halved when Dovile Kukliene scored for Gintra. Lexi Sabatelli put Clydesdale western back in front and Emma MacGregor sealed the win, despite a late goal from Kotryna Caikauskaite.
Swansea City vs HC Rottweiss Wettingen 3-3
The third game of the day was perhaps the most exciting. With an end-to-end game between Welsh side Swansea City and the Swiss qualifiers HC Rottweiss Wettingen. A last-minute converted short-corner for Rottweiss through captain Stephanie Wälti saw the game finish 3-3.
Edinburgh University vs HC Metrostroy 3-0
The final game of the day saw the hosts Edinburgh University take on Russian side HC Metrostroy. Backed by vocal home support the Scottish side took the lead in the 15th minute by midfielder Amy Brodie before she added a second halfway through the second quarter. A third was added by Samantha Judge to cap off what was a hugely successful first day in the EuroHockey Club Challenge 1.
EuroHockey Club Challenge II
Host team Gantoise opened their account at EH Club Challenge II in Ghent, Belgium, with a resounding 9-0 win over Rakovnik from the Czech Republic. Earlier in the day Arminen and Zuvedra had both recorded Day One victories while Blackboys and Amsicora shared the points.
Arminen vs Politechnika 3-0
The first game of the day saw SV Arminen beating a young Polish team AZS Politechnika Poznanska. Arminen showed a lot of composure with good ball control and the three goals underline a deserved win. Kristine Vukovich opened the scoring with a well-taken penalty corner. The other two goals came towards the end of the match as the Polish side tired. Magdalena Zagajska and Katarzyna Krasinska both found the net as they thread their way through the Politechnika defence.
Douai vs Zuvedra 0-2
The second game in Pool B was a tight game that could have gone both ways but Lithuanian side Zuvedra ultimately got the best of the French challengers Douai with a late goal in each half. Dovile Juraite scored in the 28th minute and Jovita Baneviciute added a second in the final minute of play.
Blackboys vs Amsicora 2-2
The opening match of Pool A saw Black Boys of Geneva take on Italian team SG Amsicora. Black Boys were the better team and should have gone two or three goals up. Despite domination of much of the play they could not convert their chances. Amsicora will be pleased with the draw, Black Boys will know they should have done better.
Gantoise vs Rakovnik 9-0
In the last game of the day, the home team Gantoise clearly underlined their ambitions to win the tournament with a strong 9-0 win over 1972 Rakovnik. Emilie Keij scored a first half hat trick and she was joined on the scoreboard by Argentina striker Maria Granatto, Stephanie Vanden Borre, Marthe Esquelin, Amelia Spence, Alix Gerniers and Emmanuelle Sergant.
EuroHockey Club Challenge III
Turkish side Gaziantep smashed a super six past Mladost of Croatia in the opening match of the women’s EuroHockey Club Challenge III in Vienna, Austria. Also putting in winning performances were Navax AHTC Wien, Cardiff University and Zelina.
Mladost vs Gaziantep 0-6
An evenly-matched first half gave way to Turkish domination in the second half, as the Croatian team wilted under the relentless pressure. Gaziantep took the lead through Perigean Kucukkoc in the 12th minute but then found themselves foiled by a staunch Mladost defence for the remainder of the half. Songul Fatma Gultekin doubled the lead in the third quarter but it was in the fourth quarter that the Turkish side piled on the pressure, scoring four goals in seven minutes.
Navax AHTC Wien vs Nacka LHK 3-0
Miriam Gero and Ruth Wittmann scored in the second quarter of this tightly contested match. Although AHTC Wien scored three goals, Nacka were no pushover. AHTC Wien’s third goal came as the opposition sought a way back into the game. Johanna Czech was able to capitalise from a penalty corner.
Cardiff University vs Grupo Desportivo do Viso 4-1
Arune Repeckaite gave the Portuguese side an early lead but this was cancelled out by Sarah Rawle’s nifty goal just four minutes later. A goalless second half left both teams determined to come out fighting in the second half. It was the Welsh who were able to capitalise and Chloe Nicholls, Susannah Barnes and Millicent Bushnell all found their way onto the score sheet.
Copenhagen vs Zelina 0-1
A cagey encounter between these two teams saw Zelina snatch a goal through open play in the 44th minute. The goal scorer was Dorotea Legin, her fine goal scored after a rare slip in the Danish team’s defence.
Saturday 19 May sees the competitions ramp up in excitement as the teams approach crunch point. Keep up with all the action on the EHF website here and through the EHF social channels.
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