13 October 2012

By Graham Griffiths

HUGE EURO HOCKEY LEAGUE VICTORY in Barcelona.

 

Amsterdam  4-5 Beeston  -   Saturday 13th October.

Beeston HC left no doubts  about their Round 2 qualification when they defeated Dutch champions, Amsterdam H&BC 5-4  after coming  back from being down 4-2. Martin Jones, David Ames and Mark Wadsley, scored in the last ten minutes of the match to secure the win in Pool A.

Amsterdam still received a bonus point giving them an advantage for Sunday’s match again Grunwald Poznam (POL) who had lost 6-0 to the Nottingham based side. Beeston, who are also top of the English Hockey League, continued their excellent performance in the Euro Hockey League competition and remain unbeaten in all competitions this season.

At the beginning of the match Beeston top-scorer Simon Egerton could have taken an early lead for his team but Amsterdam’s new goalkeeper Derek van Essen saved well in his EHL debut match. In the sixth minute it was Spanish international Santi Freixa who scored for AH&BC when he brilliantly  lifted the ball over Beeston keeper George Pinner after he had received a great pass coming from counter-attacking Billy Bakker. Beeston were close to equalising when Ben Arnold dived but missed the ball.

At the beginning of the second quarter Spanish new comer Roc Olivia doubled the lead for the Dutch champions.  Mirco Pruyser brought the ball into the circle, and then Hiddle Kruize’s attempt hit the post twice before the ball eventually dropped down in front of Olivia who tapped it into the goal.

Pruyser – last season’s EHL joint top scorer – could have extended the lead but the post kept him from scoring. Beeston pulled one back thanks to David Ames scoring from reverse-stick side.

At the beginning of the second half Bakker extended the Dutch lead to 3-1 but Adam Dixon fired in a low penalty corner strike to make the score 3-2. With 14 minutes remaining on the clock, Dutch legend, Taeke Taekema converted a penalty corner,  that was awarded after a successful team referral.  From now on Beeston had to be careful not to concede another goal that would have meant that they would have lost their bonus point.

The final ten minutes of the match, saw Beeston at their most brilliant best. The Bees only chance was to attack in numbers but in a calm and calculated manner. Beeston gained confidence from Martin Jones’ goal in the 61st minute. David Ames, who had been outstanding throughout the match, equalised a minute later, and with the England supporters roaring on the Bees, the winner followed in the 65th minute when left half Mark Wadsley dived in to the score on the post, securing the pool winning position.

Manager, Graham Griffiths, summed up the two matches in Barcelona, “This was Beeston at its very best. We have come a long way in recent seasons and have established ourselves as a top European side. The win over the Dutch Champions was superlative. This was probably the best performance by a British side since the Euro Hockey League was established. It was a team effort of the highest quality. I am delighted for Martin Jones and Matt Taylor. We are extremely fortunate to have two coaches of the highest calibre, in England.”

 

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