A day of sunshine and showers at Loughborough University saw the conclusion of the European Club Championship Trophy hosted by Leicester Ladies HC.
HC Victorya Smolevechi v Royal Antwerp HC
The side from Belarus conceded 20 goals in their 3 pool matches and, after an even start, soon found themselves in familiar territory in this competition. Royal Antwerp took the lead on 16 minutes through Frederiks with a good penalty corner strike. Three more first half goals followed, all in open play and all thanks to the tactic of playing defenders high with the keeper almost as a sweeper. Royal Antwerp’s scorers were Duyck, de Goes and Bouche. The keepers changed at half time but not the tactics and the Belgian side added two more through Van Strydonck at a penalty corner and Gierts, the captain, in open play. Royal Antwerp finished in 7th place and Victorya Smolevechi in 8th.

HC Metrostroy v MSC Sumchanka
The side from St Petersburg in Russia ran out 2-0 winners over Ukrainian side Sumchanka in a high quality game to determine 5th and 6th placings. For much of the game the sides were evenly matched but Sumchanka could not find a breakthrough. Metrostroy went ahead in the 15th minute when Fedorova broke clear, drew the keeper and scored with a good shot from a narrow angle. Metrostroy sealed the win when Piotukh scored in the 37th minute. Try as they might Sumchanka could not get the goal their bright approach play merited so finished 6th with Metrostroy in 5th.

Loreto HC v CH SPV Complutense
The 3rd/4th match was end to end and fiercely contested between two proud sides representing Dublin and Madrid. Ascendancy swung each way with Complutense shading a goalless first half. The second half was a feisty affair with injuries, cards and a goal apiece: Lorenzo scored with a superb overhead shot in the 46th minute but ten minutes later Loreto equalised when Mulcahy deflected in at a penalty corner. With no further goals the match was decided from th 23 metre line with a penalty shoot out. Initially, Complutense held sway but Loreto came back, Complutense missed their final penalty and captain Hannah Matthews had the chance to win it for Loreto. She duly obliged to leave Loreto in 3rd place and an unlucky Complutense in 4th.

LeicesterLHC v CSP Izmaylovo
The final saw hosts Leicester up against an impressive Izmalovo from Moscow. Both teams had 100% records from the pool but Izmaylovo had scored very freely on their way to the final. Leicester began nervously in the sunshine before a big crowd and were behind in the 3rd minute when a rocket from Vasileva beat Tyrell at a penalty corner. For a few minutes it looked as though the Russians would blow Leicester away but soon it was the hosts dominating. Chances cam and went but Hannah Fair levelled matters with a crashing shot from a penalty corner in the 29th minute. Leicester continued to press but the half time score was 1-1.
In the second half the pattern continued. Leicester’s defence looked solid and their speedy forward caused Izmalovo to give penalty corners away. In the 51st minute Katie Long’s goal-bound shot hit a body and Fair stepped up to convert the penalty stroke. Izmaylovo stepped up their game but Leicester looked likelier to score. To the delight of a good crowd the game ended 2-1 and Leicester had won at last after never getting beyond silver medals in European competition.

Final Ranking at the EuroHockey Club Trophy:

1 Leicester HC (ENG)
2 CSP Izmaylovo (RUS)
3 Loreto HC (IRL)
4 C.H. SPV Complutense (ESP)
5 HC Metrostroy (RUS)
6 MSC Sumchanka (UKR)
7 Royal Antwerp HC (BEL) Relegated to the EuroHockey Challenge I in 2015
8 HC Victorya Smolevichi (BLR) Relegated to the EuroHockey Challenge I in 2015

In the other Divisions the Rankings were:

Final Ranking at the EuroHockey Club Challenge I, Catania

1 HC Ritm-Azot Grodno (BLR) Promotion to the EuroHockey Club Trophy, Women, 2015
1 Royal Wellington THC (BEL) Promotion to the EuroHockey Club Trophy, Women, 2015
3 HC Universitario Catania A.S.D. (ITA)
3 HF Lorenzoni (ITA)
5 SK Slavia Praha (CZE)
5 Clydesdale Western (SCO)
7 Grove Menzieshill HC (SCO) Relegation to the EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Women, 2015

Final Ranking at the EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Lambersart
1 Swansea City HC (WAL) Promoted to EuroHockey Challenge I, Women 2015
1 SV Arminen (AUT) Promoted to EuroHockey Challenge I, Women 2015
3 Iris Hockey Lambersart (FRA)
3 HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI)
5 Gintra Strekte Uni HC (LTU)
5 Kecioren Baglum SK (TUR)
7 HC Hostivar (CZE) Relegated to EuroHockey Challenge III, Women 2015
7 HC Olten (SUI) Relegated to EuroHockey Challenge III, Women 2015

Final Ranking EuroHockey Club Challenge III, A, Vienna

1 HC Boryspil (UKR) Promoted to EuroHockey Club Challenge II, 2015
2 HFTC-Tauras (LTU)
3 Cardiff University LHC (WAL)
4 Post SV (AUT)
5 KPH Raca (SVK)
6 HK Moravske Toplice (SLO)

EuroHockey Club Challenge III, B, Porto

1 Sport Athletique Merignacais (FRA) Promoted to EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Women, 2015
2 Highway Hockey SC (TUR)
3 Sport Club de Porto (POR)
4 Eagles HC (GIB)
5 Hawks HC (GIB)
6 HC Imittos (GRE)

 

Photograph: Leicester Ladies celebrate their EuroHockey Club Trophy win (Ian Palfreyman(c))