EuroHockey Indoor Club Champion's Challenge I:
Three Rock ended their European adventure in sixth place out of six in Bologna last weekend as they struggled to convert decent positions into points earned, ending with just one point from their five games. They opened the weekend brightly, taking a 1-0 first half lead against hosts CUS Bologna through Peter McConnell.
But the class of Russian international Sergey Stasyuk eventually told and he netted a second half hat-trick to get the Italians off to the perfect start, a passage that ultimately led to promotion to the second tier of European indoor hockey.
Croatian side HK Jedinstovo, inspired by five goals from Rebic, ran up a 7-3 win though just one goal separated the sides at the 25 minute mark following Sven Galjaardt and Garry Ringwood goals. But four goals in quick succession left Rovers virtually dead and buried in the tournament and, with relegation not a factor, just pride was left to play for.
Peter Blakeney's double put the Dubliners on the brink of a point against eventual winners Stroitel Brest only for Siarhei Mishevich to pot a last minute field goal for a 3-2 win.
And a similar scenario occurred against Pliva Lipovci in Saturday's second game as no sooner had Pierre de Voux tied the game up at 3-3 in the game's dying stages than Robert Mesaric popped up with a winner for the Slovenians.
But they eventually got off the mark on Sunday morning, picking up an unlikely draw against Hungary's Epitok. Unlikely as they trailed 5-0 after 15 minutes only to roar back into contention with de Voux grabbing a pair, Galjaardt on target and Blakeney scoring his sixth and seventh goals of the competition.
EuroHockey Indoor Club Champion’s Challenge: Friday: TRR 1 (Peter McConnell) CUS Bologna 4; TRR 3 (Peter Blakeney, Garry Ringwood, Sven Galjaardt) HK Jedinstovo 7 Saturday: TRR 2 (Peter Blakeney 2) SC Stroitel Brest 3; TRR 3 (Peter Blakeney, Sven Galjaardt, Pierre de Voux) Pliva Lipovci 4 Sunday: TRR 5 (Pierre de Voux 2, Peter Blakeney 2, Sven Galjaardt) Epitok 5