Three Kent Sport staff members were competing for Canterbury Ladies Hockey Club at the Euro Hockey Club Champions Cup over Easter in Biltoven, Holland. Kent Sport physiotherapist Vicky Annis also travelled with the team and has provided physiotherapy support throughout the season including the introduction of a new very beneficial and thorough warm up and rehabilitation programmes to various players.
The tournament commenced on Friday 3rd April with all eight teams in action and fighting for nothing other than a win. Canterbury were scheduled to play S.C.H.C at 5pm against the highest seeded Dutch side on home soil. The home crowd started flooding into the stands in addition to the very loyal and vocal Canterbury supporters who made the journey from Polo Farm, Canterbury. Both sides put in fantastic performances. S.C.H.C were first to score but it didn’t take long for triple Olympian Jen Wilson to roof the ball into the top of the net to equalise. Well drilled short corners brought the score to 2-2. Canterbury’s current GB player Grace Balsdon put her drag flicking skills into action. Excitement began to build in the crowd as both teams prepared for shuffles. Each team selected five players to stand up in front of a full crowd and go one on one against the goal keeper from the 25 yard line; only having eight seconds to score. After such a hard fight from both teams, S.C.H.C won on shuffles which qualified them to battle for a top four finish. Unfortunately the structure of the tournament meant a fifth place finish would be the highest for Canterbury.
After a rest day and sightseeing around Utrecht, Canterbury were scheduled to play University College Dublin (UCD) on Easter Sunday. Despite going 1-0 up in the first quarter, UCD clawed back and Canterbury were 3-2 down at half time. The second half was a tense affair with both sides creating very good chances but the girls couldn’t fight back with the final score staying at 3-2. This resulted in Canterbury playing for seventh place the following day against a Russian side; CSP Izamaylovo.
An early start was in order to ensure fuel was taken on board prior to the game. The ladies were fired up and ready to put in one last performance in this European competition and they certainly did not disappoint. A great team performance by Canterbury with the first goal in the third minute of the game. The girls came away with an impressive 5-1 victory finishing seventh in the tournament.