Hockey: Hounslow to face last year's finalists: Ipswich's women back on the European stage after an eight-year absence

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The Independent Online
HOUNSLOW'S fifth successive year of European competition could be their toughest yet when they play their first game against last year's beaten finalists, Egara of Spain, in the European Clubs Championship in Bloemendaal this morning.

After what appears to be a comparatively easy match tomorrow against Racing Club of Paris, they then face the host club and Dutch champions, Bloemendaal, on Sunday. To be in with a medal chance in the play-offs on Monday, they need good wins against their opening opponents.

Hounslow expect to be at full strength, although Welsh internationals John Rees, flying in from the United States, and David Knapp, delayed on business, did not train yesterday afternoon.

In the women's competition, Ipswich return to the European arena after an absence of eight years, when they finished fifth in Utrecht.

This time, with a much-improved squad led by England's captain, Sandie Lister, and a reasonable draw, they can expect to be in the medals on Monday. They start against Amiens, and then play CUS Catania, from Italy, before taking on HGC, of Wassenaar, on Sunday.