Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I – day two
Hermes 3 (Gillian Pinder, Lisa Jacob, Rachel Burke) HC Wels 1 (Lenka Brtkova)
Hermes moved into pole position in Pool B of the EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I in Wettingen as they grabbed a second win in two days.
Austrian side Wels settled the quicker, winning an early penalty corner, but Hermes responded well with Aine Connery, Miriam Crowley and Gill Pinder combining for the latter to fire just over the bar.
Sustained pressure led to a corner which Audrey O’Flynn dragged. Lenka Morova saved but the pads were never properly cleared, allowing Pinder to have two bites at the rebound, the second of which she lifted over the keeper.
But Wels were back on terms in the 48th minute when a clearance out of defence was not controlled on halfway, and the ball was fed forward to Lenka Brtkova wide on the left.
She drove to the heart of the circle, broke a couple of tackles before finishing comfortably. Parity lasted just a couple of minutes, however, as the Dubliners worked their favourite corner, a switch left that Christine Quinlan swept back into the middle for Lisa Jacob to redirect home – taking over the role from Eimear Horan.
Wels did threaten with just a goal in the differemce, twice forcing Emma Gray into action, the second a particularly spry diving stick-save.
As the game became more open, the chances were increasing for Hermes with Pinder and sisters Aine and Sinead Connery most influential.
Kerry McComish hit the post with a stroke but, from a break by Pinder, Hermes forced a series of saves before the ball fell to Rachel Burke for a cracking strike from the right of goal.
With Slavia Praha beating Rotweiss Wettingen 2-1 in the group’s other game, it means Hermes can afford to draw their final pool game to achieve one of the final places.
Hermes: E Gray, S McCarthy, K McComish, C McGilp, G Pinder, M Crowley, E Horan, L Jacob, A Connery, A O’Flynn, F Connery
Subs: C Quinlan, S Connery, S Patton, R Burke, A Harte