EHL ROUND1, Barcelona, October 5 – daily round-up: 

– WKS Grunwald Poznan open up with a hard-fought win over debutants HC Minsk

– SV Arminen saw off Scotland’s Grange 4-1

– Three Rock Rovers produced the biggest ever EHL win for an Irish club with a 6-0 success against Racing 

– Five-star Wimbledon performance earns a handsome win over Dinamo Elektrostal

PhotosTournament photography – you can find free for reproduction photos at this link from each of the games today! Please credit Frank Uijlenbroek/EHL

Live stream: You can enjoy every minute of the action on the European Hockey Federation’s www.eurohockeytv.org website hosting the live stream for each game. To view the games, simply register with the website for free and you can take in all 12 games over three days in Barcelona. 

Friday 5 October 2018
Pool A:
SV Arminen 4 (A Bele 2, Philip Schmidt, Patrick Schmidt) Grange 1 (J Tweedie)

Pool B: Wimbledon 5 (E Malthouse, I Lewers, J Codling, I Sloan, P Roper) Dinamo Elektrostal 2 (N Dvoretskii, M Proskuriakov)

POOL C: HC Minsk 1 (U Kochkin) WKS Grunwald Poznan 2 (M Hulboj, A Mikula)

Pool D: Three Rock Rovers 6 (M Darling 2, C Empey, D Walsh, M English, R Canning) Racing Club de France 0

Saturday 6 October 2018 (all times CET)

M5        10.15h Pool C Royal Leopold (BEL) vs WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL)

M6        12.30h Pool A HC Oranje-Rood (NED) vs Grange HC (SCO)

M7        14.45h Pool D Junior FC (ESP) vs Three Rock Rovers (IRL)

M8        17.00h Pool B Mannheimer HC (GER) vs Dinamo Elektrostal (RUS)

Pool A: SV Arminen 4 (A Bele 2, Philip Schmidt, Patrick Schmidt) Grange 1 (J Tweedie)

SV Arminen picked off Grange with a dominant performance to start their EHL campaign in brilliant fashion, beating the Scots with something to spare.

It was built around three first-half goals with Philip Schmidt’s corner deflection from a Patrick Schmidt drag-flick got them in front with just four minutes played of the tie.

Grange almost had an instant response when Cammy Fraser went inches wide while a corner shot hit the cross-bar and Dylan Bean’s innovative flick looped just over.

Alexander Bele then took over, the stylish attacker latching onto a reverse-stick cross and then produced some lovely stickwork before unleashing a reverse into the goal, 2-0 after 16 minutes.

Bele was at it again just before half-time as Arminen got a lot of joy from long passes that caught Grange on their heels. Michael Minar’s long overheads were a feature one made it through to Bele one-on-one which he applied a delightful lobbed finish to.

After half-time, it was Patrick Schmidt’s turn to race in behind the last defender and slap in by the out-rushing Douglas Gourlay. That made it 4-0 three minutes into the second half.

The Scottish side fought back with 17-year-old Jacob Tweedie getting a nice touch to Bean’s cross to pull one goal back.

Arminen missed out on the chance to move further ahead when Patrick Schmidt’s penalty stroke hit the inside of the post and bounced out but they were well clear and recorded a strong win to start their weekend.

Pool B: Wimbledon 5 (E Malthouse, I Lewers, J Codling, I Sloan, P Roper) Dinamo Elektrostal 2 (N Dvoretskii, M Proskuriakov)

Wimbledon produced an exceptional first-half performance to beat Dinamo Elektrostal and set up a potential group decider with Mannheimer HC.

 Eugene Malthouse set them on their way with a lovely turn and shot in the seventh minute to break the deadlock. Dinamo looked dangerous on the break in the second quarter but once they went two goals behind, they fell apart to a certain extent.

 It came from an Iain Lewers penalty stroke after a corner ended up hitting a body on the line. From there, Wimbledon were able to pick apart the Russians with their superior speed on the move.

 Jonathan Codling got the third when he tipped in at the near post and Ian Sloan cleaned up a mid-circle chance which Dinamo were unable to clear.

 Phil Roper got a beautiful fifth goal when he intercepted a crossfield overheard, not waiting for the ball to full drop as he volleyed home a glorious shot for 5-0.

 Nikita Dvoretskii scrambled one in just before half-time but it already looked like the result was beyond Elektrostal. The third quarter saw a stalemate with the score remaining 5-1 into the final quarter.

 And they got another back with 10 minutes to go with Mikhail Proskuriakov cutting in from the left and sneaking a shot past James Bailey’s stick side but the unlikely comeback was too far away from becoming a reality.

POOL C: HC Minsk 1 (U Kochkin) WKS Grunwald Poznan 2 (M Hulboj, A Mikula)

WKS Grunwald Poznan gave themselves a perfect start to their EHL ROUND1 campaign as their experience told against newcomers HC Minsk in the opening match in Barcelona.

Mateusz Hulboj’s early goal was finally supplemented by Artur Mikula’s effort in the last quarter and while Uladizislau Kochkin got one back, Grunwald held on for the victory.

Grunwald made the early inroads, forcing a save off the line from Dmtryo Luppa before Hulboj opened the scoring. He took in a superb right to left pass from Michal Kasprzyk which he rounded on and fired home in the 12th minute.

Minsk had plenty of chances through the second quarter a couple of corner chances slipping by while Ivan Liakh went close, leaving the narrow 1-0 difference in place.

It continued in a similar manner in the third quarter with Minsk enjoying more of the openings, forcing Mateusz Popiolkowski making one incredible save at close quarters with his stick.

But, as they pushed on, they got more ragged in their tackling and gaps appeared at the back, particularly when Aliaksandr Korsik was shown a yellow card.

In his absence, Grunwald pounced with Mikula finding space on the right of the circle to arrow home a shot. That was with just four minutes to go but Minsk rallied to get a great goal back via Kochkin on his reverse, bringing it back to 2-1.

There was not enough time, though, to complete the comeback and Grunwald had the win to take into their tie with Royal Leopold on Saturday morning.

Pool D: Three Rock Rovers 6 (M Darling 2, C Empey, D Walsh, M English, R Canning) Racing Club de France 0

Three Rock Rovers produced the biggest win by an Irish club in Euro Hockey League history as they smashed Racing Club de France 6-0, giving them a great shot at reaching the KO16.

It was tighter, though, than the scoreline suggests as Rovers edged into a 1-0 half-time lead thanks to Conor Empey’s accurate shot.

Daragh Walsh’s corner deflection gave them some breathing room before they ran riot in the last quarter with Mitch Darling adding a double with Mark English and Ross Canning scoring in the last five minutes.

It means a win against Spanish hosts Junior FC on Saturday afternoon will see Rovers through to the knock-out KO16 rounds next Easter.

“The late goals probably sugar-coated it a little,” Darling said after the win. “It was a tight enough affair but it does give us extra confidence going into tomorrow. It’s all guns blazing now.

“We have been playing good hockey in the Irish league but the finishing touch hasn’t been there. It was today and what a stage to do it.”

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