5 June 2017 EuroHockey Club Cup 5th Place Playoff
CSV COMPLUTENSE 3–3 CANTERBURY (3-2 Shootout)
Scorers: Kerly 10-F, Vankemmel 47-F, Balsdon 55-PC
Canterbury Squad: Fagg (GK); Balsdon, Griggs, Clewlow, Brett, Flint, Kerly, Neal, Kolárová, Barnes, Del Borello. Subs: Turner (5′), Vankemmel (9′), Jenkins (10′), Fox (13′), Williams (23′), Buttimer (24′). Sub not used: Smith (GK).
Umpires: Sophie Bockelmann (Germany) and Lisette Baljon (Netherlands)
Canterbury came so close to equalling their fifth place finish of last season, but just lost out on a shootout to Spanish club CSV Complutense after coming back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in normal time.
Canterbury fell behind in the fourth minute, Claudia Rodriguez putting the Spanish club ahead thanks to a deflection.
Six minutes later a run and spectacular reverse stick finish by Canterbury captain Sarah Kerly put the Kent club back on level terms.
The second quarter was goalless but the goal drought was broken within two minutes of the second half when Celia Sanchez-Valverde restored the Spaniards’ lead by finding the backboard from their sixth penalty corner of the match.
When Rodriguez extended Complutense’s lead to 3-1 with twenty minutes to play, finishing after the Spanish captain, Lola Riera Zuzuarregui struck the crossbar, Canterbury’s hopes of finishing fifth were fading.
But the Kent club showed their resilience in the fourth quarter, Victorine Vankemmel reducing Complutense’s lead to 3-2 after excellent attacking play by Lizzie Neal and then with five minutes to play, Grace Balsdon levelled from Canterbury’s fourth penalty corner to force a shootout.
With Canterbury going first, Kerly shot wide of the right post, only for Canterbury goalkeeper, Helen Fagg to thwart Sanchez-Valverde with a pad save.
Balsdon spun round to beat Complutense goalkeeper, Ana Calvo and put Canterbury ahead, Fagg saving from Lucia Jiminez to preserve Canterbury’s lead.
Natasha Del Borello doubled Canterbury’ s lead before Begoña Garcia gave Complutense hope, smashing the ball into the top netting to make the score 2-1.
Goalkeeper Calvo then proved to be a heroine, clearing the ball out of the circle from Hayley Turner, Rodriguez bringing Complutense level from a rebound after Fagg initially saved.
The momentum was with Complutense when Mel Clewlow was also dispossessed by Calvo, but Riera Zuzuarregui was denied as Fagg made a double save to take the shootout into sudden death after five attempts each.
This time Complutense went first, Garcia finding the backboard to put the pressure back on Canterbury.
Clewlow managed to round Calvo but with the eight second limit close to expiring the ball ended up wide of the left post, with Clewlow falling to the ground in frustration after realising how close Canterbury came.
All in all it was a fantastic effort by Canterbury to come back from a two goal deficit, only to suffer a cruel heartbreak in the shootout, and the team can be proud of their efforts.