Hockey: Fried's suspensions decide German duel

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The Independent Online
Harvestehuder, from Hamburg, were yesterday crowned European Indoor Club Champions when they beat the defending and six times past champions Rot-Weiss Cologne 6-5 in a thrilling, fluctuating final. Old Loughtonians, the English champions who had battled through adversity throughout the tournament, were beaten 11-4 by Slagelse of Denmark in the match for the bronze medal.

In a final featuring two of Germany's great indoor players - Volker Fried and Christian Blunck - in opposition, a clash between the two in the 13th minute, in which Fried conceded a penalty stroke and was temporarily suspended, probably turned the game in Hamburg's favour. Stefan Stengler converted the penalty and Hamburg went into a 2-1 lead.

From that moment, Hamburg always had the edge. Fried returned to score his second goal but was later to receive a second suspension. Blunck had the last word when he sent Christian Stengler away for the winner with two minutes remaining.

Old Loughtonians, who had battled against a fluent Danish side from the opening whistle, were trailing 4-1 after 18 minutes when their captain and strong man in defence, Julian Halls, was hit above the eye at a penalty corner and took no further part in the game. Earlier, Halls had moved out of defence to score, and had also cleared two shots off the line at corners.

Gamely as the Old Boys fought back they were unable to stem the Danes' attack. Jerry Garner, in goal, made several brave saves and Colin Hector and David Ralph worked heroically. Chris Bloor, Ralph and Hector scored late goals, but the Danes deserved the bronze medal to add to the silver their national side took recently in the Nations Cup.

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