[img_assist|nid=8677|title=Double take|desc=Richard Mantell and brother Simon (foreground) celebrate one of Richard’s goals. Photo: EHL/Frank Uijlenbroek|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=138]The third and final day of the Euro Hockey League’s Round 1.2 event in Lille saw French champions St Germain HC and Reading HC of England claim the two remaining places in the EHL knock-out stages.
Surbiton and Beeston had already sealed their place in the last 16 of the competition in the earlier round 1.1 of the league.
St Germain’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Racing Club de Bruxelles proved to be enough for them to reach the last 16, while Great Britain Olympian Mantell scored twice for Reading to deny Round 1.2 hosts Lille MHC a place at Easter’s spectacular KO16 event.
Elsewhere, Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks and Kampong of the Netherlands continued their fine form with outstanding wins over German giants Uhlenhorst Mülheim and Rot-Weiss Köln respectively.
Here is a summary of the action from Lille.
Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks emerged as 3-1 winners against Germany’s Uhlenhorst Mülheim to seal their place at the top of Pool C in an enthralling first match of the day.
Goals from Alex de Saedeleer, Gauthier Boccard and John-John Dohmen gave WatDucks what proved to be an unassailable lead, although Tobias Matania’s 60thminute penalty corner ensured that the final ten minutes of the match were be fiercely contested.
The result means that Waterloo Ducks finish at the summit of Pool C ahead of their opponents from Germany, ensuring that they will avoid the other pool winners in the KO16 draw.
Round 1.2 Lille proved to be an EHL debut tournament to remember for Kampong of the Netherlands, who produced their second outstanding performance of the weekend to out-gun German champions Rot-Weiss Köln 4-2.
Goals from Quirijn Caspers, Roderick Weusthof, Laurence Docherty and the outstanding Robbert Kemperman gave the team from Utrecht a 4-0 advantage before Henning Hütterman and Jan-Marco Montag netted consolation goals in the fourth quarter.
The win – which followed Saturday’s record breaking 14-0 triumph over SC Stroitel Brest of Belarus – confirmed Kampong’s place at the top of Pool B, forcing Rot-Weiss into second place.
Belgium’s Racing Club de Bruxelles made it two wins from their two matches at Round 1.2 Lille with a deserved 3-1 triumph over St Germain of France, confirming their position as the winners of Pool H. Cedric Charlier, Scott Tupper and Anthony Versluys were on target for the Belgians, who claimed a maximum ten points from their two matches over the weekend.
However, the Parisians were also celebrating the sound of the full time hooter as the result was enough to edge them ahead of Pool H rivals Dinamo Elektrostal, ensuring that they would join Racing at Easter’s KO16 event.
The final match of Round 1.2 saw England’s Reading HC battle their way to a 3-0 win over tournament hosts Lille MHC to reach the knock-out stages for a remarkable seventh successive season.
England and Great Britain defender Richard Mantell scored two cracking penalty corner drag-flicks in the contest, with fellow international Tom Carson helping to break the hearts of the home favourites with a late field goal.
Lille produced a valiant display and were certainly not outclassed by the 2003 European champions, but Reading were deserving winners of the contest and will be greatly looking forward to spending yet another Easter fighting it out in the world’s finest club competition.
The completion of the tournament in Lille means that we now know all 16 teams that will fight it out in the knock-out stages of the competition.
The teams involved will be H.C. Rotterdam (NED), Reading HC (ENG), Kampong (NED), Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), Waterloo Ducks (BEL), Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER), Harvestehuder THC (GER), Beeston HC (ENG), Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (ESP), Surbiton HC (ENG), Club de Campo de Madrid (ESP), KHC Dragons (BEL), Oranje Zwart (NED), WKS Grunwald Poznan (POL), RC Bruxelles (BEL) and St Germain HC (FRA).
Full details of the knock-out phase of the competition will be announced in the coming days. More information about the Euro Hockey League can be found on the official tournament website: www.ehlhockey.tv .