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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Underdogs Ruislip Secure EHA Cup

RUISLIP Eagles upset the form book when they were crowned EHA Cup champions after a thrilling 26-25 victory over Manchester in the final at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on Saturday.

With two victories over National League champions Great Dane to their credit, Manchester began the match as hot favourites for victory. But Ruislip were determined to stop them.

Three unanswered goals gave Ruislip a good start to the game. However, Manchester came back quickly into the game thanks to Celian Girost, first levelling and then taking a narrow lead.

Both goalkeepers, Vladimir Belus and Stefan Bauer, made fine saves throughout the first half, which ended with Manchester just ahead at 17-14.

The Eagles came back with determination, despite Manchester holding on to their three-goal lead for most of the second half.

With ten minutes left Manchester had opened up their lead to five goals, but the Eagles never gave up and strengthened up their defence to stop Manchester doing any more damage.

Andrius Rinkevicius was outstanding in Ruislip's goal, making crucial saves, and an excellent turnover of players made sure the Ruislip team gave it all until the end.

Goal after goal, the Eagles came back and made a fantastic finish, levelling at 25-25 with ten seconds left.

The Eagles’ big chance came with a seven-metre penalty, and Hugo Mazel kept his cool to seal a brilliant victory.

"We were so enthused to play this final,” said Ruislip captain Marc Fayemi afterwards. “We just felt good and confident we could resist the Manchester HC team.

“We wanted to make this final special to us and we could not ask more with such a stunning scenario. And to see all your team-mates so happy to win this Cup, and it is just fabulous to lift the trophy and enjoy such moments together!"

* Cambridge won the Men’s EHA Plate after overcoming Manchester University 28-18 in the final.

Paco Fernandez scored five as Cambridge took a comfortable victory, while Massimi, Diaz and Sevin all scored four goals towards their victory.

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