Hockey: Old Boys reach last four

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Old Loughtonians put in two storming performances in the European Indoor Club Championship A Division here yesterday to set themselves up for an unexpected semi-final place this evening, whatever the result of their final Pool game with the defending champions and hosts, Rot Weiss Cologne.

In their crucial second game, the Old Boys gave WAC Vienna a two-goal start before the Scottish international Colin Hector opened their scoring at a penalty corner 12 minutes into the game. A powerful pass from Julian Halls found Chris Bloor's stick for a second before David Ralph, their second Scottish international who has dominated both their games, scored from a spectactular reverse scoop for a 3-3 interval scoreline.

Within three minutes of the restart Loughts were leading 5-3, following goals from Paul Dover and a Ralph penalty stroke. Ralph's one blemish in an outstanding performance - taking time out to advise an umpire - cost the Old Boys a fourth goal quickly followed by a fifth from the Austrians to level at 5-5.

A final all-out effort from the depleted Loughtonians brought a second goal from Dover and, in the last minute, Chris Gladman put the game beyond doubt.

In their opener, two goals each from Bloor and Gladman and a penalty stroke conversion from Ralph had been enough to see the Old Boys through to a 5-3 win against the Spanish champions, Aldeasa Valdeluz.

The Germans once again showed their power in the indoor game when their champions, HTHC Hamburg demolished Bohemians Praha 18-1 in the opening game, going on to beat Slagelse from Denmark 12-9. Rot Weiss beat WAC Vienna 4-2 in their opening game.