HOCKEY: Luckes' misfortune: Poles hit East Grinstead

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The Independent Online
EAST GRINSTEAD'S dreams of reaching tomorrow's final of the European Indoor Club Championship took a dip in their opening game here yesterday when they were beaten 6-4 by the Polish Army team, Grunwald. insIndeed, defeat would have been heavier but for a series of fine saves from England's goalkeeper David Luckes, who continued where he left off two weeks ago in the European Nations Cup.

Worse was to follow when East Grinstead lost their second game 7-6 to Royal White Star of Brussels after being in control for a lengthy period. The winning goal came just 20 seconds from the end.

In a fluctuating first half, Grinstead were reduced to five men following the temporary suspension of Marc Zander, and conceded two unnecessary penalty strokes, converted by the Belgian captain, Marc Coudron. Richard Leman turned the tide in inimitable fashion to put his side ahead - at 3-2 - for the first time in the competition.

Leading 5-3 within two minutes of the restart, careless tackling and lapses of concentration let the Belgians back into the game to score the final goal.

The damage in Grinstead's first game was done in the opening 12 minutes when they went 4-1 down in a nervous, indisciplined start in which they appeared more concerned with the type of ball than marking the Poles. A brilliant individual goal from Mahmood Bhatti on the stroke of half-time cut the deficit to 4-2 but two missed corners at the beginning of the second half proved crucial. Bhatti briefly revived hopes and Zander also collected a second goal but by now the Sussex club were well beaten.

MEN'S EUROPEAN INDOOR CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP (Cologne): Pool A: Club Valdeluz (Sp) 3 CA Montrouge (Fr) 3; Rot Weiss Koln (Ger) 10 Menzieshill (Sco) 3; Club Valdeluz 14 Menzieshill 6; CA Montrouge 2 Rot Weiss Koln 12. Pool B: East Grinstead 4 Grunwald (Pol) 6; Wiener AC 6 Royal White Star (Bel) 4; Wiener AC 11 Grunwald 9; East Grinstead 6 Royal White Star 7.

WOMEN'S EUROPEAN INDOOR CUP (Russelsheim): Pool A: Berliner 18 Taurus (Lit) 0;

Edinburgh Ladies 2 Randalstown 0. Pool B: Russelsheim 13 Amiens (Fr) 0; Hightown 3

Groningen 3.

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