Three Rock consigned to relegation playoffs

Three Rock fell this morning to a 7-2 defeat to Slovenia’s Pliva Lipovci to finish fourth in group B of the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Challenge, with just one point from their three games to date.

Despite tying 1-1 at half-time, a half-dozen of second half goals put paid to their outside chances of advancing from the group stages.

It means they will play off this afternoon at 3pm (GMT) against the third place side from group A before completing their tournament tomorrow at 9.30am (GMT) against their rival fourth place side. Those opponents will be confirmed in the coming hours.

Rovers started the tournament on Friday afternoon with a 6-5 reverse at the hands of Rosco Budapest. They were chasing the game throughout after falling behind in the second minute when Imre Farkas broke the deadlock. Goals from Lucas Piccioli and Garry Ringwood kept the Irish side in the game, 3-2 at half-time, but they never managed to get back on terms.

Further goals from Liam Canning and Andy McConnell brought the game back to 5-4 but Ferenc Ficzura netted a corner with four minutes to go for the decisive advantage before Piccioli reduced the margin in the last minute.

The second pool match produced Three Rock’s first point in European indoor competition when they drew 5-5 with Croatia’s HAHK Mladost.

Once again, they trailed early falling two behind in the 13th minute but Piccioli’s strike from play and Peter McConnell’s stroke 60 seconds later levelled matters. Domagoj Cefko and Piccioli exchanged goals for 3-3 before Zdravko Lipovcic had the Croatians in front with three minutes remaining.

A flurry of goals in a 90-second period saw Mitch Darling and Peter McConnell flash in a pair but Tomislav Hanzek responded with one of his own denying Rovers a maiden victory in the last minute.

TRR 5 (Lucas Piccioli 2, Liam Canning, Garry Ringwood, Andy McConnell) Rosco Budapest 6 (Imre Farkas 3, Norbert Kosarzsky 2, Zsombor Ficzere); TRR 5 (Lucas Piccioli 2, Peter McConnell 2, Mitch Darling) HAHK Mladost 5 (Tomislav Hanzek 2, Manjen Rucevic, Domagoj Cefko, Zdravko Lipovcic); TRR 2 (Mitch Darling, Lucas Piccioli) Pliva Lipovci 7 (Peter Forjan, Franc Maucec, Martin Mesaric 3, Uros Stanko, Dominik Mesaric)

* For more pictures from La Salle Jean Marie Vanpoulle, click here and for live streaming of Three Rock’s games, click go to the top right corner of this webpage

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