Thursday, November 30, 2023

Austria deny Scotland to win EuroHockey II men’s title

Austria denied Scotland a taste of EuroHockey glory with a rallying sudden death shoot-out victory in Gniezno, Poland.

For so long the dominant force in the EuroHockey Championship II final, Scotland had led through Struan Walker’s 36th minute strike.

But a penalty stroke eight minutes from time, converted by Dominic Uher, took the final to a shoot-out.

And Austria prevailed 7-6 after some ever-so-cool finishes from both sides, Daniel Frohlich nipping one under David Forrester to seal the title.

Despite defeat, Scotland can be happy with their showing in Poland after starting the event with a draw and a defeat before ousting Ireland 3-2 to reach Saturday’s final. Alan Forsyth finished top scorer with seven goals.

Earlier, tournament debutant teenager Kevin O’Dea’s sharp double earned Ireland a third place finish, beating hosts Poland 4-2.

Ireland’s Kevin O’Dea in action PIC: Adrian Boehm

In a wide open final quarter after Ireland had gone 2-0 up early doors, it was O’Dea who settled matters when he swatted in with three minutes to go.

These teams had already assured their places at October’s World Cup qualifiers. Italy also qualified for the qualifiers after finishing fifth.

Both Scotland and Austria will now have the first right of refusal to host the new EuroHockey Championship Qualifiers in 2022 (for Monchengladbach 2023).

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