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Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek

Beeston’s Sam Dixon (left) takes on Vincent Thibaut of KHC Leuven

England's three representatives were all bundled out of the Euro Hockey League on the first day of the Easter KO16 tournament in Rotterdam.

First to fall were EHL debutants Beeston, surprise losers to KHC Leuven. The Nottingham side took a first-half lead with an Andrew Monte penalty corner, but the Belgians surged into the quarter finals with second half goals from Juane Garreta (PC), Patrice Houssein and Irishman Phelie Maguire in a big turnaround from the 3-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Beeston in the group phase of the competition.

black good friday

The day then turned bleaker for English fans as national league table- toppers Reading were dumped out of the EHL, 2-1 by an in-form Real Club de Polo de Barcelona. International superstars Matthias Witthaus (Germany – PS) and Pau Quemada (Spain – PC) scored important goals for the Spanish side, while Reading netted a solitary second half strike from England forward Jonty Clarke. The Spaniards avenged the 1-0 defeat that they suffered at the hands of the Englishmen at the same point of last year’s competition. The English wipeout was complete

when Amsterdam H&BC came from behind twice to oust reigning national indoor and outdoor champions East Grinstead 3-2. South African international Gareth Carr scored a penalty corner and a penalty stroke for the Sussex club but goals from Taeke Taekema, Valentin Verga and Don Prins were enough for Amsterdam to set up a quarter final with KHC Leuven. With English hopes gone there was little to do apart from enjoy some truly exceptional hockey. Dublin club Pembroke Wanderers put in a dogged performance against Rot-Weiss


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