Goals galore marked day one of the women’s EuroHockey Club Trophy in Dublin with Belarus’s Ritm Grodno winning a 6-3 thriller against SK Slavia Prague in the pick of the games.

They are joined at the top of Pool A by Holcombe who had a 4-0 win over MSC Sumchanka while Pool B saw Spain’s Junior FC beat Lille 7-0 and Russia’s Krylatskoye beat hosts Monkstown 3-0.

In the Ritm Grodno game, the first quarter was fairly open with play switching from end to end. Ritm Grondo scored after two minutes following a neat break down the left and cross for a right post touch in by Yuliya Kurhanskaua.

They looked the more likely to score again with a number of efforts going close. But with their best break of the quarter, Slavia Prague were awarded a stroke for a ball that hit the last defender’s body. Despite the objections of Ritm Grondo the decision stood and captain Adela Lehovcova netted to make it one all.

In quarter two, Ritm Grondo dominated possession and, from three corners, scored one, a straight strike by Nadzeya Silitskaya. Into the second half, two early goals from Kuranskaya saw her complete her hat-trick.

Ritm Gordno had chances to pull away but good defending and some some wayward finishing kept them out. Slavia Prague battled well winning two PCs and they scored from the second through Teresa Mejzlikova.

The final quarter was played in warm conditions and saw a flurry of goals from play. Ritm made the outcome secure with scores from Volha Shyntar and Aliaksandra Slivinskaya while Michaela Kucerova pulled one back for Slavia in the last minute.

Earlier, Holcombe settled quicker against Sumchanka and they were 2-0 up at half-time. They clinically finished two of three penalty corners with Heather McKewan and Pippa Lewis netting.

Stephanchenko made more excellent saves in the second half, a triple block among them, to thwart the lively Holcombe attacks but could do nothing about the third goal netted from play by Holcombe’s Beth Bingham. A Steph Elliott stroke completed the win.

Junior started Pool B with a dominant performance. After a scoreless first quarter, the Spaniards scored three times in the second. They opened with a beautiful team goal made by a left side break and pass to the P spot, which was deflected high into the net by Cristina Guinea.

Josephine Hermant made two excellent saves for Lille before being beaten by a penalty stroke scored by Paz Codina. She scored again via the same method just three minutes later for a 3-0 half-time lead.

Junior kept the pressure on Lille in Q3 winning PCs in the fifth and sixth minutes, the second of which was converted from a breakdown by Carolina Garcia.

From a turnover, Mariona Serrahima netted from close range and yet another stroke saw Codina complete her triple and a 6-0 lead. Guinea added the seventh 10 minutes from the end.

The last match of the day, the second in Pool B saw host club Monkstown-Hermes losing to Russian side CSP Krylatskoye 3-0.

In beautiful evening sunshine, it was a cagey affair for the first quarter. The Russians stepped up the tempo and the pressure in the second quarter and went ahead from the first corner via Bogdana Sadovaia’s perfectly placed drag-flick.

With a player green carded Monkstown were under pressure with Chirstine Quinlan and Rosie Carrigan working hard in defence and Lizzie Murphy saving well on Krylatskoye‘s next corner.

Monkstown’s tactic of long balls to the circle nearly worked when Catriona McGilp picked up well on the top and then tangled with the keeper and the ball was cleared.

A very even third quarter saw Krylatskoye put under pressure by Monkstown who hit the post via McGilp after five minutes and enjoyed more possession. The Russian side earned another corner but it well defended. Murphy made some great saves for Monkstown.

Monkstown had their best spell early in the last quarter but couldn’t find the net. Sadhbh Hoban Logan went closest but her shot was well saved.

Against the run of play, Krylatskoye scored with a near post dive from Alina Khalimova connecting with a cross to beat the excellent Murphy on the right post.

Monkstown kept pressing and Rachel Moore went close but in the last two minutes Krylatskoye got a third from a PC denying Monkstown a losing bonus point, Ekaterina Shaburova.

** Picture: action from SK Slavia Prague vs Ritm Grodno. Credit: gpfoto.ie

HOLCOMBE – SUMCHANKA Pool A 4 – 0
GRODNO – SLAVIAPRAGUE Pool A 6 – 3
JUNIOR – LILLE Pool B 7 – 0
KRYLATSKOYE – MONKSTOWN Pool B 3 – 0

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