Women’s EuroHockey Club Challenge final day

Braxgata and host club Edinburgh emerged as winners of the EuroHockey Club Challenge I. Black Boys and Gantoise shared the EH Club Challenge II top spot, while NAVAX AHTC Wien earned Austria a place in EHCC II in 2019. Gantoise and Gaziantep Polisgücü SK both went on a goal fest – the Belgium side hit 16 but the Turkish team went three better as they scored an amazing 19 goals past their opponents to sign off this year’s EHCC III event in style.

EuroHockey Club Challenge I

Promotion finals
Braxgata HC vs HC Rotweiss Wettingen 8-2

It was a comprehensive victory for Braxgata HC from Belgium who have been excellent throughout this tournament. They started as they meant to go on with a maelstrom of goals and it took a shell-shocked Wettingen until the 57th minute to get on the scoresheet.

Captain Silke Steenackers led by example as she hammered home a penalty corner in the fourth minute. Her well-placed shot left Fluorine Walti wrong-footed and set her team on its way to an impressive eight goals. Steenackers herself scored a hat trick but also on the score sheet were Belgium national players Judith Vandermeiren and Louise Versavel. Spain’s Berta Bonastre also scored in the goal fest and, improbably, goalkeeper Megane Simons got on the score sheet, scoring a goal from open play in the final minute of the match. Braxgata’s dominance in this event is signified by the fact that the top four goal scorers are all from the Belgium club, with Steenackers top of them all with seven goals.

Edinburgh University HC vs Milne Craig Clydesdale Western 1-0

Where the previous game had been a goal fest, in the other promotion match, Edinburgh University and their Scottish rivals Milne Craig Clydesdale Western played out a canny and defensive game. The sole goal came from Samantha Judge, a nicely taken goal in the 39th minute, that followed a patch of good attacking play from the home team.

Despite Clydesdale Western throwing everything at the students, they held firm and took joint first place with Braxgata.

5-7th place playoffs

Gintra Strekte University vs Swansea City 3-1

Gintra made sure of their place in this division next year with a strong performance to finish this campaign. The Welsh side took the lead in the seventh minute through Carys Gordon but gradually the Lithuanian team mad their way back into the game. Their patience paid off as they scored three goals in the final quarter. Erlanda Nomeikaite scored two of the goals while Kotryna Caikauskaite put the match beyond doubt with a third goal in the final minute of the match.

HC Metrostroy vs CUS Pisa 4-1

The Russian side proved too strong for Pisa as they opened the scoring in the sixth minute and then steadily wore down the Italian defence to score a further three goals. Pisa were left chasing shadows as the Metrostroy team played a disciplined and structured game to ensure they finished the tournament with a win.

EuroHockey Club Challenge II

Promotion finals

 SV Arminen vs Black Boys 1-2
Black Boys of Switzerland came from behind to beat SV Arminen in this clash between two well-drilled teams. Arminen took the lead in the first quarter through Magdalena Zagajska but goals from Eeke van den Ven and Sophie Ravonel gave the Black Boys a sweet victory.

Gantoise vs Zuvedra Tauras 16-0

Home team Gantoise enjoyed a goal fest as they hit 16 past Zuvedra Tauras in this race to promotion. Among the goal scorers were Stephanie Vanden Borre, who scored four and finished as the event’s top scorer. Captain Alix Gerniers added a hat trick and Emma Demouliere also got two goals.

5th-7th place playoffs

AZS Politechnika vs SG Amiscora 0-7

Earlier in the day Amiscora had enjoyed their own goal scoring spree against AZS Politechnika. The Italian side dominated form the first whistle and hit the back of their opponents net regularly throughout the game. Maryna Vynohradova scored three, all within a six minute spell of brilliance. She was joined on the scoresheet by Frederica Carta who scored twice. Teresa Dalla and Francesca Denotti also added a goal apiece.

Rakovnik vs Douai 4-5

This was a close match that could have gone either way. At half time it was 3-1 to Douai but Rakovnik were creating their own chances and looked dangerous whenever they attacked. Douai extended their lead to 5-2 but in the last four minutes Rakovnik scored two more goals to make it 5-4. The French team breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew.

EuroHockey Club Challenge III

Promotion finals
AHTC Wien vs Cardiff University 3-0
A golden spell between the 20th and 36th minute powered hosts NAVAX AHTC Wien to promotion up to Challenge II for Austria for 2019 as they got the better of Wales’ Cardiff University.

After a scoreless first quarter, Laura Kern gave the Austrians a 20th minute lead which they held into half-time. Corinna Dvorak doubled the lead a minute into the second half and the victory was assured in the 36th minute via Ruth Wittmann.

Gaziantep Polisgücü SK vs HK Zelina 19-0

Gaziantep Polisgücü SK cruised to an amazing 19-0 win over HK Zelina to win their final with plenty to spare. It was 7-0 at half-time before they passed double digits in the 39th minute.

Nurhan Cinar scored seven times with Perihan Kucukkoc scoring five. Leyla Ozturk scored a hat trick in the last four minutes for the Turkish side.

5-7th place playoffs

Copenhagen vs Nacka LHK 2-3

Sweden’s Nacka LHK won their derby with Denmark’s Copenhagen to claim a fifth place finish in Vienna with a 3-2 win. Karin Busch had given the Danes a dream start in the second minute but Aylin Shawkat levelled matters early in the second quarter and they moved clear in the second half via Thea Kleinschmidt and Lovisa Thornblom in a key three-minute spell deep into the final quarter. Captain Katja Christensen got one back with two minutes to go but Nacka held on for their win.

HAHK Mladost vs Grupo Desportivo do Viso 4-0

Three goals between the 11th and 13th minute propelled Croatia’s HAHK Mladost to a share of fifth place in Vienna as Dora Lagancic, Maijana Franic and Marina Abramovic all scored in quick succession. From there, they were never truly under pressure from the Portuguese side and they made sure of the win when Ana Colic scored nine minutes into the second half.