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Poynton crowned champions of Europe

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Poynton produced a dominant display across the weekend at the European Club Championships to win the Ken Galluccio Cup and take the title of best in Europe.

The Blackbirds downed HLC Rot-Weiss München of Germany 15-5 in the final in Ghent, Belgium to continue from where they left off last season, adding another piece of silverware to the collection.

The final match rounded off a perfect weekend for the English National Club Champions who outclassed all their opposition throughout and remain unbeaten across the Championships.

After wins of 15-2 v UCD (Ireland), 8-3 v Zurich Lions (Switzerland), 10-1 v Rot-Weiss München and 10-3 v Vienna Monarchs (Austria), Poynton headed into Sunday’s semi-final with a 100% record.

A comfortable 7-1 win against Jizni Mesto (Czech Republic) set up a rematch with the Germans in the final, throughout which Poynton were always in control, leading 10-2 by the half before closing the game out.

Luke Goldstock finished the tournament as the leading point scorer on 22 (17, 5) including 6 in the final, closely followed on 21 by both Will Prescott (15, 6) and Alex Russell (9, 12), while Will Baxter finished with an impressive 42 saves at 74%.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s competition, Centaurs suffered an unfortunate defeat in the final, losing 9-13 to LCC Radotin (Czech Republic).

Czech National Team ‘keeper, Katerina Dvorakova, made seven saves in the final quarter to swing the game in Radotin’s favour and consign Centaurs to a 2nd place finish for the second year in a row.

Centaurs finished the group stage with a 4-1 record, posting convincing wins against Farsta (Sweden) 17-1, Ghent Gazelles (Belgium) 19-3, Cheriators (Austria) 19-4 and UCD 18-1.

Their only defeat came in a nail-biting precursor against Radotin, losing 9-10 to a goal in the final seconds, setting things up nicely for a rematch on the last day.

However, Centaurs still needed to put in a committed performance to come back from 1-3 down and edge past Rot-Weiss München 6-5 in the semi-final to get through to face the Czechs.

The final was then a back and forth affair with the English side leading 7-6 early in Q3, before Radotin’s ruthless efficiency in attack began to pay off and as chances were spurned at the other end, the Czechs moved to take the win.