Waterloo Ducks secured top spot in the group with a hard-fought win over hosts East Grinstead in the last game of the weekend.
In front of a big crowd, a particularly noisy section supporting the Belgians, Wat Ducks earned their win with goals from Tanguy Cosyns and Alastair Brogdon, whilst Rick Gay’s penalty corner proved to be in vain.
The Ducks took the lead when Gauthier Boccard and Cosyns turned the ball over in the EG 25, an exchange of passes followed by Cosyns’ sliding finish was executed with pace and deadly precision for 1-0.
Wat Ducks almost extended their lead as the home side struggled to get a foothold in the game. Richard Potton pulled of two smart saves in quick succession and Alexandre De Saedeleer had his penalty corner effort charged down by the defender.
Jack Marfleet found Glenn Kirkham on the baseline and the captain’s hard-hit cross evaded everyone with Andy Piper the closest to getting a touch.
Waterloo’s pace and movement was causing their opponents problems, whilst East Grinstead were trying to exploit space down the channels with a series of long passes looking for the forwards.
In the second quarter Gilles Jacob played a lovely disguise pass into Maxime Capelle but the No32 couldn’t get the ball under control.
At the other end, Adam Jordan showed great determination as he broke through two tackles into the D, but a lack of support saw him crowded out and the threat extinguished.
Wat Ducks extended their lead as a wonderful cross into the D found Brogdon who slid in and deflected the ball into the goal with a splendid finish. Straight after, John-John Doman played Brogdon through but he could only find the side netting.
The second half became cat and mouse as East Grinstead tried to haul themselves back into the contest, and Waterloo protected their lead. Vincent Vanash was called upon to keep Glenn Kirkham out; smothering well at the near post, but the goal was coming. Vanash saved a penalty corner from Rick Gay, but from the re-awarded penalty corner, Gay tried again, going low this time and beating the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
Capelle almost restored the cushion with a deflection that went over the bar whilst at the other end Mark Pearn’s cross just eluded Jordan.
The final quarter opened with a good chance for Alexandre De Paeuw, but he fired wide when in space inside the D. East Grinstead’s effort going forward was not lacking but Wat Ducks stood firm to keep them at arm’s length. The hosts had one last chance as they won a penalty corner. Rick Gay stepped up again but Vanash made a fine save to his right and his defence cleared.
Wat Ducks ran the clock down and held on to secure top spot in the group. East Grinstead had battled bravely, but just not quite done enough on the night. Both sides however, move onto the next round.