England a could lose their third Euro Hockey League place after all three of the nation’s clubs crashed out at the last-16 of the Euro Hockey League in the Netherlands.
Worst hit may Surbiton, who not only lost 3-1 to hosts Oranje Zwart but may now lose their place in the 2014-15 competition as England’s third-ranked team.
Surbiton had the toughest draw of the English clubs, making life very difficult for OZ but the hosts fought their way through 3-1. The first half ended evel at 1-1 with goals from Gabriel Dabanch and the Londoners’ Rob Moore. But goals from Rob Reckers and Mink van der Weerden in the second half gave the hosts the win.
Reading lost 4-2 to Spain’s Real Club de Polo who produced a superb first half performance to build a 3-0 lead via Roger Padros, David Alegre and Manel Terraza.
Reading charged back in the third quarter when Andy Watts scored and then Nick Catlin closed the gap. But with both sides serving suspensions and Reading withdrawing goalkeeper James Bailey, Xavi Lleonart managed to wriggle free down the left and roll home to make the result certain 60 seconds to go.
Sam Ward’s deflected effort gave Beeston a dream start against Waterloo Ducks with one of the quickest goals in EHL history after just 15 seconds. But Nicolas Vandiest turned the tie on its head with two close range goals before Alexandre de Paeuw and Gilles Jacob made it 4-1 with five minutes to go.
Beeston fought back brilliantly with Ward completing his hat-trick but time ran out in a brilliant fourth-quarter of hockey.
England went into this year’s competition as the fourth-ranked country – based on performances in the EHL and Trophy competitions over the past three years with a weighting for more recent results. The top four countries all receive three entries to the EHL. Rankings five to eight get two spots each.
Spain are in fifth place, but with Club de Campo and Real Club de Polo progressing to the round of eight, they will now close the gap on England and, possibly climb into the top four. See attachment for the calculation at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Racing club de Bruxelles produced the shock of the round to beat KTHC Rot Weiss Koln 3-2 on penalties after normal time had ended 2-2. Jeremy Gucasoff made a couple of brilliant saves to help the Belgians through to Friday’s KO8.
Racing led the game twice in the first half, first via Anthony Versluys and subsequently from Thomas Vanneste to counter-act Marco Miltkau’s 34th minute goal. Miltkau scored once again in the second half, though, to tie things up and send the game to penalties where the Belgian side prevailed.
Today’s games on www.ehlhockey.tv are:
Club de Campo vs Harvestehuder 11.30am (CET)
Racing Bruxelles vs Waterloo Ducks at 2pm (CET)
Rotterdam vs Dragons 4.30pm (CET)
OZ vs Real Club de Polo 7pm (CET)