Western Wildcats end Indoor Euros day one in second spot
Western Wildcats got their indoor European campaign underway on the opening day at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge 1 in Varna; they beat Soroksari (Hungary) 4-3 only to go down 4-2 to Slagelse (Denmark) in their second outing.
The results leave Wildcats in second spot in the pool and they only need a draw against Cardiff Met (Wales) tomorrow to qualify for the promotion group.
Western Wildcats 4-3 Soroksari (Hungary)
There was little between the sides in the opening exchanges but it was the Hungarians who took the lead in six minutes, a double penalty corner switch left Zsombor Ficzere with the task of finding the net.
Almost immediately Wildcats were back on level terms, the ball fell to Andrew McAllister whose turn and shot eluded the Hungarian keeper.
Parity lasted barely two minutes, at another penalty corner Sebastian Leser converted for a 2-1 lead.
Western Wildcats were now beginning to find a bit of form, a three man move opened up the Hungarian defence, that left Rob Harwood unmarked and the Wildcats` captain made no mistake from a narrow angle
The Wildcats had several good chances to take the lead, in particular Fraser Moran had two goes at a penalty corner but both efforts were blocked – so the score remained 2-2 at the interval.
Wildcats were the more enterprising side in the second half and it was no surprise that they took the lead for the first time in the contest. At their second penalty corner the ball was switched left to McAllister who found the net for the second time in the match.
The Scots seemed in control, but with three minutes left and somewhat against the run of play Viktor Ujvari made it 3-3 at another penalty corner.
But the Wildcats were not to be denied their victory, Hamish Galt fired a penalty corner opportunity into the roof of the net for the five points on offer.
Western Wildcats 2-4 Slagelse (Denmark)
The first half against the Danes was one of frustration for Western Wildcats, it started when Mathias Due Tankmar scored the opening goal in six minutes.
The Wildcats were quick to reply, the Danish defence lost the ball in a dangerous situation, it fell to Craig Sinclair who found the net from the top of the circle for 1-1.
The Scots then fell 3-1 behind through a double from Lasse Steinmetz Christensen. Western Wildcats’ only reply came from Craig Sinclair, uncharacteristically the Danish defence gave the ball away and were punished with an opportunist shot from the top of the circle.
To make matters worse Harwood missed a chance to pull the score back by missing from the spot not long before the interval.
Mads Nielsen made it 4-1 two minutes into the second half and made the contest was a very difficult one.
A yellow card to Andrew McAllister certainly did not help the cause and the Scots had to survive two Danish penalty corners.
But two minutes into the final quarter, a glimmer of hope. McAllister`s skill and persistence set up the opportunity and a reverse stick finish by Harwood complete the move for 4-2.
Wildcats had a couple of late chances, especially to Joe McConnell, but the Danes held on for the five points.
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