The national indoor club champions were crowned in a number of countries around Europe following a series of exciting finals; here’s a round-up of some of the action from the events which act as qualifiers for the 2024 EuroHockey Indoor Club competitions.
Repton took the women’s title in emphatic fashion as an Erica Sanders’ hat trick helped them win their final over Buckingham 6-1. Also on the score sheet were Poppy Barlow with two and one from Sonja Zimmerman – the German indoor captain was one of two European champions on display along with Janne Müller-Wieland.
On the men’s side, Wimbledon won a 12-goal classic in a shoot-out after normal time had ended 6-6 against Old Georgians with Frenchman Jules Bournac scoring the winning effort.
Normal time saw the lead swap hands four times with Ashley Jackson and Manuel Prol exchanging late goals to send it to the overtime decision in front of a boisterous crowd at the Copper Box.
Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles’ women (pictured above) won a hotly contested final against Waterlook Ducks 3-1 in a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in normal time. For the WatDucks, there was frustration they could not do more from eight corners.
France De Mot put Racing one up from a stroke; Marie Ronquetti equalised before Charlotte Englebert put the Brussels side back in front but Caroline Wagemans levelled with 14 seconds to go. In the shoot-out, Jill Boon, Englebert and de Mot gave Racing victory.
On the men’s side, it also went to a shoot-out with Royal Léopold taking the laurels 2-1 after a 5-5 draw in normal time.
Pinoké’s women won the national title at a well-filled Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague, edging out HDM 2-1 in the final. It is the first national indoor title in their history.
It follows quickly in the footsteps of their male colleagues, who were also crowned the best indoor hockey team in the Netherlands last season thanks to a victory over HDM. Lieke van Wijk’s corner and a goal from Lisanne de Lange put them 2-0 up and they stayed clear despite a Tessa Beetsma reply.
On the men’s side, HDM defeated AH&BC Amsterdam 4-2, recovering from a 1-0 deficit in the third minute with Chris Taberima scoring a hat trick.
SV Arminen won back the Austrian men’s indoor crown following a three year break as they won their title decider against HDI WAC 4-2. The competition’s top scorer and player of the tournament Sebastian Eitenberger had Arminen on the front foot from the start from a stroke in the first minute and Daniel Fröhlich made it 2-0, a lead they held until deep into the second half. Jonas Fischer put them out of sight with five minutes to go a Dominic Uher made extra sure in a flurry of late goals.
On the women’s side, HC Wiener Neudorf were the big surprise package, eliminating the reigning champions HDI WAC in the semi-finals and then defeated the winners of the regular season, AHTC, in the final. It was their first title since 2006.
It was 2-2 at the end of regulation time with Laura Kern and Sophia Klaus exchanging first half goals; Katharina Proksch – later named player of the tournament – restored the lead but a deflected Marianna Pultar corner made it 2-2 in the third quarter.
It earned the shoot-out from which Pultar ultimately scored the vital effort.
TJ Plzen Litice took the glory in the Czech men’s competition with an impressive 5-1 final win over SK Slavia Praha with a strong closing phase. Ondrej Sochor got the only goal of the first half but his side edged further clear via Lukáš Benda in the third quarter before three goals in the last six minutes put them in the clear.
Slavia, meanwhile, took the women’s trophy with a 4-0 win over HC 1972 Rakovník. A déla Lehovcová nicked the first goal and then a flurry of three goals in six minutes in the second half made the big difference.
OKS SHVSM Vinnitsa won the Ukraine men’s title with a perfect record of 15 wins from 15, scoring 158 goals into the bargain. Best Player was Vladimir Zhmerenyuk (OKS-SHVSM) with Vladimir Kaplinskij the top scorer.
Watsonians were crowned the 2023 women’s indoor champions after coming from behind twice to secure the title at the Bells Sport Centre in Perth, defeating Clydesdale 5-4.
Katie Stott was the match-winner with a deflected shot in the closing 30 seconds providing the winner. Clydesdale had led 3-1 at one stage before Watsonians fought back brilliantly.
On the men’s side, Western Wildcats retained the Scottish crown with a 9-6 final victory over Inverleith.
Rob Harwood, Joe and Andy McConnell and Fraser Moran were all among the goals as they took the laurels.
My photos from the @ScottishHockey Indoor Gala Finals at Perth on Saturday are now on the website:https://t.co/5zHPHHX0Ei@ClydesdaleHC @UddyHockey @WatsonianHockey @HILLHEAD1970 @cala_hockey @InverleithHC @Western1898 pic.twitter.com/b3m4B2Ooer
— Duncan Gray (@duncolmsports) January 31, 2023