15th July 2017: The final day of the EuroHockey5s season took place in CREPS, Wattignies, 4 games, one Champion!
The classification matches took place in the morning with the medal games following on as Belarus and Turkey battled it out for Bronze and after a 9 goal thrilling final Austria were crowned 2017 EuroHockey5s Champions.
Game 20: Gibraltar v Lithuania 1-11
The day started with a battle between Gibraltar and Lithuania in Pool C. It’s been a steep learning curve for new entry Gibraltar as they have started to come to grips with Hockey5s at this level for the first time. Lithuania had the better of the first period and took advantage of one of the few chances of the game, a direct strike from Kamilė LIEKYTĖ in the 7th minute put them 0-1 ahead.
A fantastic long range effort from Rutkauskaite doubles the lead for Lithuania. 0-2 after 12 minutes, the goals kept coming as they had an excellent period, putting 6 past the GIB defence.
The final period started with a huge effort from Gibraltar to shore up their defence and they were rewarded with their first goal of the Tournament via Reighann OLIVERO.
The game finished 1-11 and assured Lithuania of a 7th place finish.
Game 21: Croatia v France 2-5
The home side got the better of Croatia in the 5/6 playoff with a 2-5 win. They got off to the better start with 2 early goals in the opening period. Croatia were on the back foot and struggled to get past a solid French defence. However they rallied and equalised in the second period. France once again came back and two goals in the 23rd minute and that was enough to seal the win.
Speaking with the French Coach Steve Colledge after the game he said of the Tournament “We started poorly, we wanted to be in the Final! We struggled to come back from there, it was too much stress for the girls. Our last 2 games we did win quite comfortably. So if we could have played with less stress…. It has been a huge learning curve.”
Of Hockey5s he said “Physically you use a lot of energy and to think all the time during the game, that’s really interesting for me as there are no stoppages. You can find yourself isolated in defence or attack, the Goalkeeper is always in the game. It’s what I like everybody is involved.”
Talking about the future of Hockey5s in France “The federation needs to decide is this our game? I think it’s a wonderful development tool, an opportunity for us to develop the skills that can be transferred for 11 aside. Of course we have now made an investment into the boards! We will hopefully participate in 2019, where the pressure is off as it’s not a YOG so we can look at developing our younger players, and build from there, as Austria have done this year!”
Game 22: Bronze Medal Game – Belarus v Turkey 5-6
A fantastic game of Hockey5s as 2 very strong teams took to the field here in CREPS in Wattignies. Turkey opened the scoring in the 4th minute, a cheeky lifted ball from Merve Aslan. Both teams scored twice in the second period, setting up the final period nicely at 2-3 in favour of the Turks. Captain Melis KÖŞKER calmly put away a challenge to stretch the Turks lead 2-4 and again in the 22nd minute. Belarus put in hard work with Halavach knocking the ball over the line at close quarters and strike from the half way line to bring the scoreline back within reach. However Turkey scored again and 2 more goals from Belarus, the last a perfect challenge in the 30th minute from Anastasiya YS (BLR) was not enough to bring the game to a shoot out, Turkey won 5-6. A third placing and the Bronze medal.
Game 23: Final – Poland v Austria 3-6
It was a Lively start to the Final as Poland took a tentative bullet strike but it was padded away by the Austrian keeper. Both teams had more chances to open the scoring, but both keepers were alert and ready for the strikes. Fiona FELBER opened the scoring in the 6th minute for Austria.
A stunning team goal finished by Helene HERZOG followed by a 3rd for Austria put them in the driving seat and it seemed that Poland had a mountain to climb.
Polish captain Julia BALCERZAK scored twice in quick succession to bring the score back to 2-3. Remarkably Poland, with all the composure of much more senior players levelled the game in the 21st minute and so the score remained until the end of the second period.
Austria dominated the final period, scoring 3 times and never letting Poland threaten, winning the EuroHockey5s in style!
Best Keeper: Michaela STREB
Best Player: Melis KÖŞKER
Top Scorer: Helene HERZOG
Watch back all the games here
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