20th May 2018: Here in Surbiton on the final ranking day, it was Mannheimer who secured the 5th place and vital points for Germany for the 2019 EHCC. 

In the first game of the day, the hosts, Surbiton finished 7th and earned, what could be vital ranking points for England for the 2018 EHCC.

7th / 8th Ranking: UCD 0 Surbiton 4

Hosts, Surbiton finished a disappointing tournament in fine style, beating University College Dublin 4-0 in front of an enthusiastic early morning crowd. All the goals came in the second half, Dierdre Duke, the UCD captain having come close to scoring in the tenth minute. Kathryn Mullan was a penalty corner threat for the Irish club, but it was Surbiton who proved more deadly from the set-pieces. Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick which eluded Jo Hunter, but not an Irish defender was deflected to break the deadlock in the 35th minute. Four minutes later a routine saw the ball passed to Emily Atkinson at the left post, from where a cross was turned in at the far post by Georgie Twigg.  With four minutes to play, Hannah Martin found the backboard for Surbiton’s third goal. UCD elected to field a kicking back with just under three minutes to play and Beckie Middleton took full advantage, slotting the ball into an empty net to secure seventh place for Surbiton.

We spoke  to Brett Garrett Surbiton Coach after the game “It’s been a tough few days with our results on the field, but what I  am most proud of is the effort the club has put in, the organisation and the support we have had from Surbiton and the community around, that has been a huge success. The big thing for us in hosting this event is what we could do for hockey and for our club and I think we have achieved that.”

Speaking about the team , he added that playing at the EHCC “It gives you a sense of reality of where you are. Our preparation for this event is always hard and puts us in a tough spot. Some of our girls aren’t used to playing European hockey and our results and rankings over the past 4 years mean that that first game is always tough for us. We are under no illusion about how tough it is, but at the end of the day this is the level we want to be at.” Brett is now waiting to see how Holcolmbe get on at the EuroHockey Trophy in Dublin to see what the impact that has on the rankings for 2018.

Speaking  to Mick Mc Kinnon, UCD Coach after the game about his overall impression of the EHCC “We have really enjoyed it, it’s been a really well organised event. Our girls have learned a lot and hopefully this has wetted their appetite to want to carry on playing at this level.” We asked him how he believes Irish Hockey can continue to improve domestically “It’s impossible to simulate this level of hockey at home. That can make us complacent that we are doing well as don’t get to see the level. We can be doing great domestically but there is a whole out there!” His view is that getting domestic coaches to Irish training sessions, to see the level, he added “We need to host international games and have coaching courses in conjunction with these games so that we don’t think that the EYIHL is good enough.”

Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley opens the scoring against UCD at the Pure Storage EuroHockey Club Cup at Surbiton HC (ady Kerry (c))

5th/6th Ranking: Mannheimer HC 7 Victorya Smolevichi 0

Mannheimer finished fifth after a dominant performance against Victorya Smolevechi of Belarus, both teams making their debut in the competition. Nike Lorenz gave Mannheimer a 6th minute lead with a penalty corner drag-flick. Mannheimer then struck twice in the 14th minute, Camille Nobis and Lydia Haase scoring from successive attacks. A brace from Greta Lyer gave the German club a convincing 5-0 half time lead. Mannheimer’s captain, Sophia Willig and Alicia Magaz Medrano scored in the 43rd and 44th minutes, but Victorya held their opponents goalless in the final quarter. Victorya’s captain, Ryta Batura came close to scoring a consolation goal from a penalty corner, but having beaten hosts Surbiton in the first round of classification matches, Victorya can be proud of their sixth place finish.

Photograph: Smolevichi’s Krystina Miastouskaya is beaten for Sophia Willig’s goal at the Pure Storage EuroHockey Club Cup at Surbiton HC (Ady Kerry (c))