Two short corner goals from Spanish team Real Sociedad de Futbol dented Railway’s hopes in the first match in the Women’s Club Champions Trophy at the Royal Antwerp Hockey Club in Belgium.
Supported by the travelling band of ‘yellow’ supporters including the Railway Under-14 team, Railway started strong with the balance of possession but were unable to find that finishing touch.
The Spaniards were first to score from their first short corner six minutes in from a Eugenia Guajardo deflection. Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon were working hard in midfield but forwards Zara Delany and Kate Lloyd were finding it hard to penetrate a composed Sociedad defence.
In the incessant second half rain, the Spaniards shaded the third quarter, scoring from their second penalty corner 10 minutes in through Lucia Ybarra. Railway worked hard in the last quarter to get something from the match, winning a number of short corners, but the Spanish defence stood firm, with sweeper Chiara Tiddi having an outstanding game.
On Saturday, Railway play the Ukrainians MSC Sumchanka at 1pm (12pm Irish Time) who beat Victorya Smolevichi 2-0 in the group’s other game.
In the Club Champions Challenge I, goals from Jeamie Deacon and Anna O’Flanagan gave UCD the perfect start to their campaign with a 2-1 win over Scotland’s Grove Menzieshill in sweltering 32 degree heat.
They did it the hard way, coming from a goal down as former international Kat Cameron’s penalty corner put the Grovies in front in the ninth minute.
But O’Flanagan equalised early in the second half and Deacon netted a corner in the 49th minute that ultimately swing the tie the students’ way.
On the men’s side, Cork Harlequins fell to a 4-3 loss to HC Bra in Vienna in their opening Club Champions Trophy. Paul Lombard had given them an early lead while Colin Ross had them back in front at 2-1 in the 25th minute.
Italian international Massimo Lanzano, though, levelled the game at half-time while Ukranian Oleksii Shvets and Matteo Moro nabbed two goals in as many minutes to power into a 4-2 lead with 16 minutes remaining.
Quins got one back from John Hobbs’ corner five minutes from the end before the Italian side were briefly reduced to nine players, Czech star Ondrej Vadmuska among the binned, but they could not grab an equaliser.
They meet hosts SV Arminen in their second game on Saturday.
** Big thanks to Helen Johnston for the report on Railway Union vs Real Socieded
Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy, Antwerp
Friday: Railway Union 0 Real Sociedad de Futbol SAD (Spain) 2 (Eugenia Guajardo, Lucia Ybarra); MSC Sumchanka 0 Victorya Smolevichi 2
Saturday: Railway Union vs MSC Sumchanka (Ukraine), 12pm; Sunday: Railway Union vs Victorya Smolevichi (Belarus), 2pm; Monday: classification matches
Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I, Catania, schedule (all times Irish)
Friday: Grove Menzieshill (Kat Cameron) 1 UCD 2 (Jeamie Deacon, Anna O’Flanagan);
Saturday: UCD vs Universitario Catania (Italy), 4pm; Sunday: UCD vs Royal Wellington (Belgium), 2pm; Monday: classification matches
Men’s EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy, Vienna, schedule (all times Irish)
Friday: Cork Harlequins 3 (Paul Lombard, Colin Ross, John Hobbs) HC Bra (Italy) 4 (Priyesh Bhana, Massimo Lanzano, Oleksii Shvets, Matteo Moro)
Saturday: SV Arminen (Austria) v Cork Harlequins, 4pm; Sunday: Cardiff & UWIC v Cork Harlequins, 3pm. Monday: Classification matches.