Three Rock enjoy EuroHockey success

By Stephen Findlater

THREE Rock Rovers stormed to the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II title after beating Bulgar-ia’s Lokomotiv 1929 on a monster 23-2 scoreline, writes Stephen Findlater.

It brought their goal tally to 54 from six successive wins in Tbilisi, all 10 outfielders on the mark in securing promotion for themselves for 2019 along with gold.

Three Rock Rovers

Three Rock Rovers won the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II

While this is the fourth tier of European hockey, there were tricky spots. In Game One, Armenia’s Harzadan proved a tough nut to crack with Ben McCrea’s second half goal clinching a 3-2 victory.

They had largely been on top in that opening tie, but Harzadan had some star men, and, in Arsen Gevorkyan, they had one of the legends of Dinamo Kazan alongside 16-year-old Alexey Sobolevskiy who was named ‘Player of the Tournament’.

On the counter, they hit the post and had a one-on-one chance to tie things up but Stephen Dawson held firm to nick the result.

A 10-0 win over hosts Tbilisi club placed Rovers top on Friday night on goal difference and they remained that way after the third series of games that saw them cut loose in the second half to beat Finland’s HC Klippari 6-2 after the two sides had found themselves dead-locked at 2-2 at the break.

Their best performance came in Game Four against the other side with a perfect record thus far, Norway’s Kringsja.

Indeed Rovers burst into a 5-1 lead by the 14th minute with Richard Pautz, Daragh Walsh, Jody Hosking, Harry Morris and Ross Canning all on target.

Late goals

Kringsja got a sniff of a chance with two goals late in the first half, but another couple of Morris strikes in the 28th and 29th minutes helped propel Rovers to an 8-5 win.

It meant that promotion was within touching distance, but a sleepy start to Sunday morning saw them fall 2-0 behind against Lithuania’s Klevas Siauliai.

Canning and Hosking equalised with goals in the three minutes before half-time and a corner from the former early in the second half put them on course for a fifth successive win.

With promotion achieved, gold followed a few hours later. The task was simple enough – avoid defeat by 13 goals. They hit that target with 34 goals to spare.

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