Craig Wilson’s late goal garnered a losing bonus point from Pembroke’s second Pool F tie in the EuroHockey League in Eindhoven, a result which will help Ireland’s longer term aspirations of holding onto two places in the competition.
It was no less than they deserved as they put it up to the 2008 finalists in a tie to determine who topped the group and who will be seeded second in the KO16 draw. The Dutch side started the stronger, Wouter Brasem and David van Ass both on target as they dominated the first quarter.
The Irish champions improved significantly in the second period with Scott Furlong and Jethro Eustice getting to grips with the young HGC forward line. Mick O’Connor – one of the heroes of Friday’s game – also began to assert his influence.
But it was Dick Mohlmann who got the next goal, scoring early in the third quarter before Brandon Panther scored his fourth goal in his third appearance for the club with a corner switch drag-flick.
David van Ass quickly re-established the three goal lead from close range. Pembroke were far from finished, however, and they stormed back with Wilson netting a bizarre corner.
Panther initially left the ball behind but managed to keep the chance alive with a delightful punch of the ball into the ground to bounce it over the first runner’s stick and then shoot onto the post.
The rebound bounced out to Wilson ten yards out and he struck a volley firmly into the ground to bounce up and over the logged goalkeeper.
It left Pembroke within the losing bonus point remit to add to their haul in the EHL nations ranking table.
Elsewhere, the other Irish involved in the competition had a fruitful day as Madrid’s Club de Campo and Belgium’s KHC Dragons both qualified as pool winners for the KO16.
Ronan Gormley’s Campo drew 2-2 with Rott-Weiss Koln to top Pool B while Stephen Butler and Eugene Magee were part of the side who shocked reigning champions UHC Hamburg 4-2.
EHL Pool F result: Pembroke 2 (Brandon Panther, Craig Wilson) HGC 4 (David van Ass 2, Wouter Brasem, Dick Mohlmann)
Pool F standings: 1. HGC 10pts (+9) 2. Pembroke 6pts (-1) 3. Olimpia Kolos Sekvoia 1pt (-8)