Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hermes through to Euro final

Hermes reached the final of the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Belarussian side Ritm Grodno in Wettingen, Switzerland this afternoon.

Alexandra schoolgirl Deirdre Duke (pictured) proved the heroine, levelling two minutes into the second half with a superb diving touch to Shelley Sloan’s cross.

Grodno took the lead in the eighth minute through skipper Volka Shyntar as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in a tough, physical battle.

Indeed, Hermes – needing just a point to progress – were made to live on their nerves as they held out nine penalty corners as well as surviving the sin-binning of Jenny Kinch in the 50th minute unscathed.

Grodno also had a goal disallowed with just five minutes to go, chalked off after a lengthy Hermes appeal. For their part, the Belarussians picked up their seventh and eighth yellow cards from their three games in the tournament, the first coinciding with Duke's all-important goal.

It means, in combination with Saturday’s 9-0 win over host Club Rottweiss, the point was enough to see the Dubliners head their group on goal difference with Scottish champions Glasgow Western in second.

By virtue of heading the group, Hermes draw the potentially easier of the two final playoff games, facing Italy’s Mori Villafranca in tomorrow’s final.

Promotion to next season’s Club Champion’s Cup up for grabs for Loreto to take on though there have been some specualtion that a women's EHL could be inaugurated in the near future.

EuroHockey Club Champion’s Trophy schedule:
Hermes vs Mori Villafranca, 12pm

Final Group B standings (points/goal difference):
1. Hermes 5pts (+9) 2. Glasgow Western 5pts (+5) 3. Ritm Grodno 5pts (+4) 4. Rottweiss Wettingen 0pts (-18)

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