Monday, June 1, 2009

Hermes stunned by Italians

Hermes were shocked by Italian side Mori Villafranca 2-0 in the final of the EuroHockey Club Champion’s Trophy in Wettingen yesterday, as they let slip a series of decent early chances.

It meant there was no fairytale ending for coach Colin Stewart who stepped down after the tournament following an incredible run of nine trophies in his four-year tenure.

Anna O’Flanagan twice went close in the opening stages while Jenny Burke drew an immaculate save from goalkeeper Eliza Gazzini.

But Hermes were stung when Elena Apelganets buried the Italians only corner of the game two minutes before the break. Hermes, for their part, did not score from their eight corners as they bossed the play.

With Sinead McDonnell in the sin-bin - for using her back-stick whilst attempting a tackle on the ground - Villafranca got a crucial second in the 56th minute to settle matters, Anna Tagliaschi applying the final touch to a goal-mouth scramble.

Hermes' efforts became for desperate as they rallied late on in the sweltering heat, especially with the Italians were reduced to nine players for the last five minutes but to no avail.

The result means Ireland miss out on promotion to the Champion’s Cup level of competition, meaning IHL winners Loreto will preside in the Trophy again in 2010.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Irish internationals Hannah Bowe - brother of Irish rugby star Tommy - and Emer Harte (pictured in action against Den Bosch) who were part of England’s Slough who were relegated from the Champion’s Cup due to a 4-3 loss to Ukraine’s Dinamo Sumchanka.

In men's European competition, Bloemendaal emerged victorious after an incredible EHL final, just getting the better of holders Uhlenhorst 5-4. The combination work of the world's two best players Jamie Dwyer and Teun de Nooijer was a sight to behold in the first half, building up a 4-0, then 5-1 lead.

The German side bounced back with a stunning fightback but Bloemendaal held on to take the title for the first time. Meanwhile, KHC Leuven, conquerors of Three Rock, lost 3-2 to Uhlenhorst in the semi-final. For highlights of some of the best hockey you will see, go to


Anonymous said...

the best bit about Bloemendaal's win was they did it without a recognised drag-flicker!

Anonymous said...

no they didnt. Olmer Meijer scored a flick in both the semis and final.

Anonymous said...

dwyer was brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone have a problem loading the site? I've got the latest flash version installed...

Queso said...

Irish Womens club hockey at a european level really appears to be slipping with neither Pegasus nor Hermes managing to get promoted from the "B-division"

Although the men are flying high in securing 2 places for Ireland in the EHL; if the same competition were to be inaugurated for the women, as is rumoured, Ireland would have no representives in the EHL at all.

This is because Irish womens club sides are probably ranked outside the top 12 nations at the moment based upon recent European competition results.

Bango said...

Its an interesting one. It's probably quite a bit down to the spread of players as Lithuania (30th) and Russia (23rd) are well below Ireland in the world rankings but both have A division sides.

Similarly, Scotland (22nd) are at the same level as us while Ukraine (18th) and Belgium (20th) both had A division sides this year. On that basis, we're punching below our weight but I think we have way more clubs with players spread wider which makes it tougher to compete at this level.

On the men's side, the top players in Leinster are becoming more concentrated among the top five or six clubs which aids their european hopes.

Queso said...

Something's definitely amiss at womens club level as Ireland are the 5th ranked international country in Europe!!

If our clubs played up to this standard we'd have 2 EHL places. I definitely don't think you can use player spread as an excuse as I also remember hearing that we have approx. the 4th largest female player base in Europe (open to correction on this!).

On the mens side Ireland are ranked 7th in Europe, although for this season our clubs were ranked 10th. However, after the performances of Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke Wanderers, Ireland's clubs are now matching their international ranking of 7th

At a European level only Lithuanian clubs could be said to be playing above their international ranking - LTU(14th)

As Russia(10th), Scotland(9th), Ukraine(7th) and Belgium(11th) are all within the top 12 european nations anyway.

Anonymous said...

"If our clubs played up to this standard we'd have 2 EHL places. I definitely don't think you can use player spread as an excuse as I also remember hearing that we have approx. the 4th largest female player base in Europe (open to correction on this!)".......

Having a large female base is not the issue. It helps, but doesn't guarantee succeess as quantity does not always result in quality.

Our best players are spread out amongst many clubs, whereas the Lithuanian and Italian teams that won promotion recently are regular entries in Europe.

Queso said...

Hopefully the IHL will act as the catalyst to get our best club players together and competing against one another regularly to improve the standard.

Once this has bedded in... "player spread" is no longer a legitimate excuse as we will now be on a level footing with the majority of other european associations who also have a single national club league!