15 women’s games today and much to play for at the 2nd day of the EuroHockey Club Trophy and Challenges.

EuroHockey Club Trophy, Women, Loughborough

CSP Izmaylovo v HC Metrostroy
The clash of the Russian sides saw an eventual win for free-scoring Izmaylovo but, in a very even first half that ended 0-0,  both teams had their moments. The game was played in torrential rain but Izmaylovo came out brightly in the second half and scored two quick goals with cool finishes from Kristina Shimilina. Metrostroy kept battling but dangerous striker Bohdana Sadova chipped in with two fine goals, a deft lift over the keeper for Izmalovo’s third and a piledriver shot for 4-0. Metrostroy deserved something from the game and in the last minute they were rewarded at a penalty corner when Nadezda Chegurdaeva, their best player on the day, lashed the ball home to make the final scoreline 4-1.
Loreto HC v HC Victorya Smolevichi
The heavy rain had stopped and the sun was out for the match between the Irish and the side from Belarus. Having been thrashed 8-0 yesterday Smolevechi had gathered their wits again for this match and kept Loreto at bay for most of the first half, only conceding in the last minute, Sarah Clarke hammering home a penalty corner.
Smolevechi continued to fight hard in the second half, a little too hard at times and Loreto striker Niamh Small was flattened in the circle for a penalty stroke. Captain Hannah Matthews stepped up to the spot and calmly put the ball past the Smolevechi keeper. Smolevechi were denied the point awarded to sides losing by no more than two goals when they conceded a late third. A penalty corner led to a scramble and Rachel Keegan slotted the ball into the net.
The wins for Izmaylovo and Loreto mean that both have 10 points and all to play for in their match tomorrow. The game between Metrostro, currently on 1 point and Smolevechi on 0 points will determine who finishes third and fourth in the pool.
Leicester v CH SPV Complutense
Host side Leicester and Spanish side Complutense both won their Day 1 matches so there was much at stake in this game. Before the match Leicester’s Kerry Whitehead received a commemorative gift from England hockey, having recently announced her formal retirement from international hockey. It was fitting then that it was Whitehead who got Leicester off the mark in the 13th minute when she deflected in a penalty corner and she was on the mark again just three minutes later finishing on the backhand from the edge of the  circle. Complutense came back hard at Leicester and sloppy defending saw the Spanish score when the ball from the right was met by their captain Cristina Gonzales.
The first half ended 2-1 to Leicester and neither side could add to their tally in the second. Complutense pressed for much of the half with Leicester hitting them on the break but the time ticked away for the Spanish and with 10 points Leicester put themselves in the box seat ahead of the final pool games.
Royal Antwerp HC v MSC Sumchanka
Both sides lost on day 1 but it did not take Sumchanka very long to get into their stride in this match Yana Sitalo smashing a ball high past the keeper from the circle edge in the 2nd minute. This was added to 5 minutes later by Karyna Matviyenko. The Belgian women looked deflated but kept trying hard, however, hopes were further dented when Oksana Pomarenko netted in the 32nd minute. Just a minute later Royal Antwerp were back in it when Aurelie de Groes got the faintest of touches to a ball driven in to the circle.
Royal Antwerp might have looked to build on this but their second half began badly when Olga Gulenko converted a penalty corner. Further late goals from Matviyenko and Alona Shatokhina made it 6-1 to Sumchanka and the Belgian side finished the game looking rather forlorn.
Sumchanka will go into their final match against Leicester believing that a good win could see them overhaul the host side to top the pool and play for gold. Complutense are also not out of it. A low scoring win for Sumchanka over Leicester could let in the Spanish if they could score several against Royal Antwerp.
Saturday 7th June 2014
11:00A CSP Izmaylovo  – HC Metrostroy 4-1 (0-0)
13:00A Loreto HC  –   HC Victorya Smolevichi 3-0 (1-0)
15:00B C.H. SPV Complutense  – Leicester HC 1-2 (1-2)
17:00B Royal Antwerp HC – MSC Sumchanka 1-6 (1-3)

EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I, Women, Catania

Day 2 of the EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I (W) in Catania saw some exciting hockey.
The first games between Royal Wellington V Clydesdale Western was closely fought with great advantages resulting in some outstanding goals. It ended a 3-3 all draw
The second game saw Groves Menzieshll play against HC Ritm-Azot Grodno it was an evenly matched contest but despite the Scottish teams tenacity and possession they could not break through the Belarus defence. The Grodno forwards scored 3 goals in quick succession in the middle of the second half giving them a 5-1 victory.
The third game saw the home side HCU Catania play their first game of the tournament against Slavia Praha. It was a competitive game with more than 150 spectators who supported their home team with fire crackers, airhorns and a kettle drum adding a fantastic atmosphere. Catania are a very fit team and although Slavia Praha battled to the final whistle Catania emerged victorious 3-1
Saturday 7th June 2014
11:00A Royal Wellington THC – Clydesdale Western 3-3 (2-1)
15:00A Grove Menzieshill HC – HC Ritm-Azot Grodno 1-5 (1-2)
17:00B HC Universitario Catania A.S.D.  – SK Slavia Praha 3-1 (2-1)
EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge II, Women, Lambersart
Day 2 here as well in Lambersart and Swansea, Arminen and Rotweiss Wettingen are the 3 teams on full points! Both Pools are very tight at the top with 5 teams still in with a chance of the 4 slots that will decide Promotion.
Saturday 7th June 2014
11:00B SV Arminen – Kecioren Baglum SK 3-0 (2-0) Match Report
13:00B HC Rotweiss Wettingen – Gintra Strekte Uni HC 3-1 (1-1)
15:00A HC Hostivar – HC Olten 2-3 (1-2)
17:00A Swansea City HC – Iris Hockey Lambersart 4-1 (2-1)

EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge III A, Women, Vienna
As noted yesterday with only one promotional slot availabe here in Vienna and Porto these are very intense hockey Tournaments. Overnight HFTC-Tauas,   Post SV, HC Boryspil  and   Cardiff University LHC are all on 5 points apiece, so unless Raca or Toplice earn points tomorrow, these are the teams that will be in the playoff places on Monday.

Saturday 7th June 2014
15:00B HK Moravske Toplice – Cardiff University LHC 1-5 (0-4)
17:00A KPH Raca – Post SV 1-5 (1-2)

EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge III B, Women, Porto
The French team Sport Athletique Merignacais are the dominant force here in Porto with a very comprehensive 9-0 victory over Eagles. 6 different goal scorers for the French team showing their strength and depth. The hosts, SC de Porto were more than happy with their narrow win over Hawks, ending the day on 5pts but facing a tough game v Highway Hockey SC who are also on 5pts.

Saturday 7th June 2014
15:00A Eagles HC – Sport Athletique Merignacais 0-9 (0-5)
17:00B Sport Club de Porto –   Hawks HC 2-1 (1-1)

Photograph; Sumchanka proving it’s worth the pre match preparation (Andy Smith (c))