Match I and the German’s Harvesthuder were 2-1 ahead in the opening game here in East Grinstead and it appeared that the inspirational talk from their coach at the half prompted them into action and a final score of 7-2 with …….. Taking then to a comfortable 3 points in Pool A. Koerper got a hat-trick and Bjorkman a brace of goals and all in all a comfortable win.
The second game of the day was Hockey Club Valenciennes v Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa. Valenciennes came with a fantastic band of supporters including their club mascot Le Swan! But the well organised Ukrainians showed their experience and with a very solid defence they too won their game 7-2. So Pool A is all square at the top and bottom.
Pool B started with the hosts in action against Dinamo Ykertinburg. A cat and mouse game and the Russian defence held solid when called upon. The Russian Kostarev no 5 was my man of the match cool as a cucumber working the ball out of defence. Dimano went 2-0 ahead and it took until the second half for East Grinstead to win their first corner and but Niall Stott put it wide. The final quarter of the game was more open! With Pearn and Kirkham working the ball up the court and the Stott brothers taking the lead on the attacks in the circle. Pearn putting his club on the scoresheet and a frantic final quarter saw an exchange of goals but the final score was 3-2 on the whistle when Stott was on target from an overtime corner.
The final game of the morning session was Racing Bruxelles v Partille and the draw of 3-3 certainly reflected the game and leaves the pool wide open ahead of the afternoon session.
Photograph: Harvesterhuder v Complutence (EHF/Peter Savage (c))