24:05:2015, Brussels: A huge day of action and surprises as Slavia Praha and SC Stroitel Brest come top of their respective pools at the EuroHockey Trophy and will battle it out tomorrow for the EuroHockey Trophy.

ams 2 ams ams3 ata 1 brest 1 oks
SK Slavia Praha 7 (J Kyndl 3, M Svaton 2, D Vacek, M Hoffman) Whitchurch 2 (H Noor 2)

SK Slavia Praha set the target for Atasport to chase as they ran up a 7-2 win over Whitchurch, giving them a great chance of topping Pool A and reaching the final.

It means the Azeris have to win by at least six goals to outdo the Czechs in their game against SG Amsicora in the final group game. Jakub Kyndl shot home a series of three penalty corners in the first half, helping Slavia to a 5-0 half-time lead – Marek Svaton also scoring twice.

Whitchurch, though, rallied and got one back from the penalty spot via Hassan Noor with 17 minutes to go. Amid a flurry of cards in the latter phases, both sides were reduced to nine players with Philip Wilkinson seeing a red card.

Noor added his second from the penalty spot to reduce the gap to 5-2 with five minutes to go but Slavia added two late goals, one from a David Vacek corner push and then one with five seconds to go via Martin Hoffmann.

Pool A
SG Amsicora 1 (F Lai) Atasport 3 (V-A Butt, M-S Khalid, A Nadirov)

Atasport won the battle but lost the war with SK Slavia Praha for top spot in Pool A of the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy with a 3-1 win over SG Amsicora.

The result was enough for the Italians, though, to finish third in the group, bumping Whitchurch in fourth place in the table and the early classification match on Monday morning.

Vaqas Ahmad Butt got the only goal of the first half from a penalty corner, powerfully fired home. But the goal-rush they needed was not forthcoming and they had to wait until the 55th minute to eventually add to their tally. It came from the penalty spot after a nudge in the circle, Muhammad Saleem Khalid coolly converted.

Ali Nadirov then touched in a right wing cross to make it 3-0, a result that would have eliminated the Italians. They rallied and scored from a rare break-out with Federico Lai pushed home a close range chance with eight minutes to go.

From there, both sides settled for the outcome, meaning Atasport go into the bronze medal match while SG Amsicora will battle for fifth.

Pool B
Grange 5 (F Ryan 2, C Fraser, H Imrie, A Campbell) OKS Vinnitsa 2 (A Koshelenko, V Kalinchuk)

Scottish champions won a thrill-a-minute battle with OKS Vinnitsa to give them a chance of playing in the bronze medal match with Dubliner Frank Ryan bagging a brace.

Hamish Imrie got a classy first before Cameron Fraser slapped home the second in the 16th minute from a corner. Andrii Koshelenko pulled one back, continuing his hot streak with another powerful set-piece effort.

Ryan volleyed in his first in the 29th minute but Vitalii Kalinchuk made sure it was still close at half-time, reeling the deficit in to 3-2.

But Grange took their chances in the second half while OKS were unable to find a way past the superb Sean Hadfield in goal. Andrew Campbell got the critical fourth goal with ten minutes to go before Ryan tapped in the fifth to complete the victory.

They will now wait on the result of SC Stroitel Brest and Three Rock Rovers. Should Rovers win by three goals, Grange go into second place in the group but, otherwise, the Scots will be in third and set to contest the fifth place playoff.

 

Three Rock Rovers 1 (L Madeley) SC Stroitel Brest 2 (A Lukashik, A Ozerskyi)
SC Stroitel Brest produced a superb defensive performance to keep a Three Rock Rovers’ assault at bay, clinging on to a 2-1 lead which they held from the 28thminute.

Raman Vitko produced a storming performance while Artem Ozerskyi marshaled a superb rearguard performance to protect the win.

Early on, Rovers had hit the front when Luke Madeley’s push from a fifth minute corner squirmed through Raman Vitko’s pads for the opening goal.

Rovers looked the more likely to plough on from there but were wasteful, a sign of times to come. And they were stung when Aliaksandr Lukashik pounced on a stolen ball on halfway and ended up scrambling home from close range.

Soon after Artem Ozerskyi whizzed in a drag-flick for 2-1, a 28th minute goal that looked unlikely to be the ultimate winner at the time in a free-flowing tie.

But the tactics changed markedly in the second half with Brest sitting deep and launching overheads while Rovers held all the ball but could not break through in spite of numerous close-run chances.

It means Rovers will next meet Azerbaijan’s Atasport in the bronze medal match at 12.45pm on Monday at Grange Road with Brest meeting Slavia Praha in the final at 3pm.

Final Day Line-up:

08:15 WHITCHURCH v OKS (7th/8th place)
10:30 AMSICORA v GRANGE (5th/6th place)
12:45 ATASPORT v THREEROCK (3rd/4th place)
15:00 SLAVIAPRAGUE v BREST (Final)

Our Twitter # for all the events is #EHClub15 and will be tweeted @eurohockeyorg

Results will be posted also on http://ehf.ceelectwebsite.co.uk/competitions/

All games from all competitions are live from: https://eurohockey.altiusrt.com

Photographs: Irish Hockey Photographers (c)

Source material: Stephen Findlater