UCD unstuck by Mannheim in London; Town fall to Russians on opening day

UCD produced a sterling performance but came unstuck against Germany’s Mannheimer HC as Maxi Pohl’s deflection six minutes from time took the game away from them in London at the Euro Club Cup.

It means they face a seventh place playoff on Sunday morning against host club Surbiton, one they will need to win to bolster Irish hopes of keeping a place in the top European competition.

Bethany Barr looks on as Mannheimer’s Maxi Pohl celebrates her crucial goal. Pic: Ady Kerry/EHF

In a lively opening, Emma Russell was denied in truly amazing fashion by Lisa Schneider from Katie Mullan’s crash ball. Clodagh Cassin did likewise to keep out Lydia Haase’s rising shot from point blank range before UCD took the lead.

Mullan drove through a couple of tackles in midfield to find space and she picked out Katherine Egan on the left of the circle. The forward turned away from her reverse before firing an open-hand shot to the right post for Sorcha Clarke to touch in a great team goal in the 21st minute.

UCD’s lead lasted just two minutes before Emma Förter equalised for Mannheimer – who featured Megan Frazer in midfield – as she got a touch on a slap from Sonja Zimmerman.

Early in the second half, Maria Tost shot firmly past the left post and there were some anxious moments for the UCD defence, the ball unexpectedly rebounding off the post before being cleared and Mannheim failing to score from four penalty corners. Cassin was in superb form, keeping the game in the balance until the closing minutes.

But Zimmerman again provided the power and Maxi Pohl provided an ankle-breaker of a touch, turning the ball almost 90 degrees in the other direction to leave Cassin stranded.

In the Euro Trophy in Dublin, Monkstown lost 3-0 to Russia’s CSP Krylatskoye in their opener counter as two late goals took the game away from them..

In beautiful evening sunshine, it was a cagey affair for the first quarter. The Russians stepped up the tempo and the pressure in the second quarter and went ahead from the first corner via Bogdana Sadovaia’s perfectly placed drag-flick.

With a player green carded, Monkstown were under pressure with Chirstine Quinlan and Rosie Carrigan working hard in defence and Lizzie Murphy saving well on Krylatskoye‘s next corner.

Monkstown’s tactic of long balls to the circle nearly worked when Catriona McGilp picked up well on the top and then tangled with the keeper and the ball was cleared just before half-time.

A very even third quarter saw Krylatskoye put under pressure by Monkstown who hit the post via McGilp after five minutes and enjoyed more possession. The Russian side earned another corner but it well defended as Murphy made some great saves for Monkstown.

Monkstown had their best spell early in the last quarter but couldn’t find the net; Sadhbh Hoban Logan went closest but her shot was well saved.

Quinlan mopped up off the line from another effort to keep Town in the hunt. Against the run of play with 10 minutes to go, Krylatskoye drew another brilliant stop from Murphy but, from the next play, scored with a near post dive from Alina Khalimova connecting with a cross from Ekaterina Stepanenko.

Monkstown kept pressing and Rachel Moore went close but, in the last two minutes, Krylatskoye got a third from a PC denying Monkstown a losing bonus point, Ekaterina Shaburova.

Earlier, Spain’s Junior FC hammered Lille 7-0 in Monkstown’s group. Ritm Grodno beat Slavia Prague 6-3 while Holcombe were 4-0 winners over Ukraine’s MSC Sumchanka.

EuroHockey Club Cup (all at Surbiton, England)
Friday: UCD 1 (S Clarke) Mannheimer HC 2
Sunday, seventh place playoff: UCD v Surbition, 9.30am

EuroHockey Club Trophy (all at the Merrion Fleet Arena)
Friday: Monkstown 0 Krylatskoye 3
Saturday: Monkstown v Lille (FRA), 2.30pm
Sunday: Monkstown v Junior FC (ESP), 2.30pm

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