Quins busted by Bra in Euro opener

Cork Harlequins’ quest to win the Energiecomfort EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy in Vienna started badly with a 4-3 defeat to Italian champions HC Bra yesterday.

The Munster side started the match in electric fashion and were rewarded after six minutes when Paul Lombard took a beautifully weighted pass from his brother David, to find the net from an acute angle.

Poor defensive play allowed the Italians to equalise after 12 minutes, however. From a penalty corner, Priyesh Girish Bhana slotted home after goalkeeper Chris Daunt initially saved a drag flick.

Quins went 2-1 up after 25 minutes when Paul Lombard’s mazy dribble across the circle was volleyed home by midfielder Colin Ross.

Slack defending resulted in an equaliser for Bra forward Massimo Lanzano after a long ball outwitted the defence. The Italians hit the front after 52 minutes when Oleksii Shvets rifled a drag flick high into the net to make it 3-2.

Two minutes later, a poor turnover in midfield led to Matteo Moro scoring on his reverse after a counter-attack. Quins responded with a John Hobbs drag flick after 65 minutes but couldn’t find an equaliser.

Cardiff & UWIC beat hosts SV Arminen 3-2 in the pool’s other match. Quins face Arminen today (4pm Irish time) in their second pool game.

There were mixed fortunes for Ireland’s other European representatives; Railway Union lost 2-0 to Real Sociedad in the women’s Club Champions Trophy in Antwerp but UCD claimed a 2-1 win over Grove Menzieshill at the Club Champions Challenge I in Catania, Sicily.

Elsewhere, Ireland gave themselves a huge boost ahead of next month’s World League 3 campaign with a 3-2 away victory over Olympic champions Germany. Alan Sothern’s fourth-minute opener put the green machine in front before a flurry of late goals saw Chris Cargo make it two, Germany pull one back before Shane O’Donoghue hit what proved to be the winner ahead of another late strike by the hosts.

Ireland’s WL3 pool opponents were confirmed yesterday as India, Netherlands and New Zealand.

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