EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge I, Budapest
Game one: Three Rock Rovers 6 (Jody Hosking 3, Ross Canning, Garry Ringwood, Nick Burns) Triglav Predanovci 2 (Sebastjan Cernel 2)
Three Rock got their European indoor campaign off to the perfect start as they saw of Slovenian champions Triglav Predanovci. In the early phases, Triglav held the box seat, hitting the post twice while Wendel Armstrong denied a one-on-one chance. But Rovers capitalised when Predanovci were down a player in the eleventh minute via Nick Burns and followed up with a second moments later through Garry Ringwood.
They did concede from the Slovenian side’s fifth corner on the stroke of half time through Sebastjan Cernel but a riposte 11 seconds after the interval, Jody Hosking’s first of three strikes, restored the buffer and a subsequent rebound off the post made it 4-1. Triglav pulled one back with six minutes left, again from Cernel, but two further goals, one from Hosking and one from Ross Canning, in the closing phases confirmed a strong win.
Game two: HC Bra 2 (Priyesh Girish Bhana, Massimo Lanzano) Three Rock Rovers 1 (Peter Blakeney)
While Rovers rode their luck in game one, they produced a much stronger performance in game two for little reward against Italian side HC Bra who boasted both Czech Republic and Italian internationals in their number. Priyseh Girish Bhana put them 1-0 up at half-time before Massimo Lanzano doubled the lead soon after the break but, thereafter, Rovers bossed the game, hitting the post a couple of times.
The Italians were briefly down to four players after a spate of cards but Rovers did not capitalise until 70 seconds from the end when Peter Blakeney netted but there was not enough time to garner an equaliser.
The upshot is that Rovers need a win over Denmark’s Orient Lyngby in tomorrow morning’s final group game if they are to contest the top four playoff pool. Nonetheless, Predanovci’s 6-2 loss to Lyngby means Three Rock will at least carry five points through to the bottom four playoff should they not advance.
** I won’t be in a position to provide updates on this tournament until Sunday; to keep up to date, minute-by-minute updates are being provided on the tournament Facebook page
Pool A results: Orient Lyngby 3 HC Bra 3; TRR 6 Trilgav Predanovci 2; HC Bra 2 TRR 1; Orient Lyngby 6 Trilgav Predanovci 2
Standings: 1. Orient Lyngby 7pts (+4) 2. HC Bra 7pts (+1) 3. Three Rock Rovers 6pts (+3) 4. Triglav Predanovci 0pts (-8)
Saturday fixtures (local time): Orient Lyngby vs Three Rock Rovers, 9am; HC Bra vs Trilgav Predanovci, 10.10am