Under sunny skies and in front of a vociferous and enthusiastic stand of school children, the EuroHockey Club Cup started at Sugden Road with an all German clash.
Mannheimer took on UHC Hamburg, who made their way into Saturday’s semi-final with a 1-0 win thanks to Eileen Hoffman’s 12th minute open play goal from the right of the circle. Mannheimer threatened with three penalty corners but Hamburg defended well and survived Mannheimer’s late onslaught after they fielded a kicking back for the last six minutes.
Hamburg will face AH&BC Amsterdam, 8-0 winners over University College Dublin. Amsterdam scored from their first attack, Kelly Jonker rifling the ball into the roof of the net after just 15 seconds. Julia Müller added a second goal in the ninth minute from Amsterdam’s first penalty corner, putting away a rebound after having an initial shot saved by UCD goalkeeper, Clodagh Cassin.
Charlotte Vega scored Amsterdam’s third goal in the 18th minute, followed by Maria Verschoor two minutes later, Amsterdam leading 4-0 at half time. Vega was on target again in the 33rd minute converting the Dutch club’s third penalty corner at the right post. Amsterdam added three further goals in the fourth quarter, Jonker scoring her second goal of the game in the 49th minute with Vega completing her hat-trick a minute later and Verschoor completing the scoring with three minutes to play.
‘s-Hertogenbosch strugged in the first quarter of their match against Victorya Smolevichi of Belarus, failing to break the deadlock due to some dogged Victorya defending. Ireen van den Assem finally scored in the 21st minute, triggering an avalanche of four goals in eight minutes. Marloes Keetels smashed the ball into the far netting from the right of the circle two minutes later, with Maartje Krekelaar and Margot van Geffen scoring in the 24th and 28th minutes respectively. Sian Keil had a penalty stroke saved by Victorya goalkeeper, Tatsiana Charei in the 34th minute, with Lieke Hulsen scoring the only goal of the second half three minutes later to complete a 5-0 win for the reigning European champions.
‘s-Hertogenbosch will face Club Campo de Madrid in Saturday’s second semi-final after the Spanish club ended hosts Surbiton’s hopes of a second successive semi-final appearance with a 2-0 win. Lucia Abajo Saenz de Tejada’s stunning tenth minute strike and Rebecca Grote’s penalty corner conversion with two minutes to play means Surbiton will play a team from Belarus for the first time when they face Victorya at 7 pm on Friday evening.
More information about the tournament can be found at the European Altius website