Hockey: Den Bosch deserve their place in the sun

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DEN BOSCH, who last year won the European Cup-Winners' Cup, yesterday added the senior European competition, the Club Championship Shield, to their trophy cabinet when they beat the host club, Egara, 2-1 in an exciting final here yesterday.

In a carnival atmosphere in the hot Spanish sunshine before a capacity crowd, the Dutch took the lead through their 19-year-old defender Gijs Volders in the 26th minute and went further ahead 11 minutes after the interval through Piet Geeris.

The game really exploded when, with 10 minutes remaining, Pol Amat pulled a goal back for Egara at a penalty corner. The Dutch side's captain and goalkeeper, Ronald Jansen, floored Volders and was immediately suspended. The Spaniards threw everyone forward but were unable to get the equaliser.

Harvestehuder from Hamburg, with Russell Garcia prominent, won the bronze medal when they beat Grunwald from Poland 7-2, with their 21-year-old England international Nick Taylor being named goalkeeper of the tournament.

Chris Mayer, with three goals, eventually led the way to victory for Cannock in their vital last game against the Belgian club Royal Herakles, as the tired British side struggled to a 4-1 victory to retain a place in the A division for themselves next year. After two goals in the opening 10 minutes Cannock lost their way and were even unable to take advantage of the Belgians, who were at one stage reduced to seven men by temporary suspensions. Indeed, Herakles had only returned to nine men when they scored their solitary goal, to provide some very anxious moments for Cannock's supporters.

Mayer left it to the last three minutes to score twice to complete his hat-trick and lift the doom. Cannock's management will be the first to acknowledge that they need to strengthen their squad if they are to achieve their dream of European medals.

EUROPEAN CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP (Terrassa) A Division: 5/6th Place: Cannock (Eng) 4 Royal Herakles (Bel) 1; Montrouge (Fr) 4 Stroitel Brest (Bela) 1; 3/4th Place: Harvestehuder (Ger) 7 Grunwald (Pol) 2; Final: Den Bosch (Neth) 2 Egara (Sp) 1.

TEST MATCH (Havant): England 7 Japan 2.