Euro Hockey League KO16: KHC Dragons 7-2 Lisnagarvey.

Four goals for Loick Luypaert steered Dragons through to another showdown with Reading in the KO8 as they swept aside the challenge of Lisnagarvey.

Luypaert scored the opener on 14 minutes, putting away a penalty stroke after the ball was judged to have struck a Garvey foot on the line. He scored his second just a minute later sending a low penalty corner flick in between goalkeeper and post man as Dragons imposed themselves on the game in the first quarter.

After 20 minutes, Garvey got themselves back into the contest with a lovely goal from Mark Raphael who found the far corner with a low shot from just inside the D.

Both Felix Denayer and Louis Rombouts went close to re-establishing the two goal cushion but they were unable to find the target with deflections. Denayer turned provider instead on 27 minutes, his lovely run and cut back from the baseline was calmly slotted home by Matthew Cobbaert. Garvey weren’t going down without a fight however and Raphael notched his second just before half time with a lovely deflection which went into the roof of the net above Manu Leroy’s head.

The game was finely poised but a blistering start to the second half from the Belgians saw them score two quick goals. The first was a splendid finish from Jeffrey Thys on his reverse from an acute angle, whilst the second was a penalty corner which Florent Van Aubel finished brilliantly, latching onto Luypaert’s flick to give John Tormey no chance.

Luypaert went route one from the next penalty corner and ripped a fierce flick into the top corner for his hat-trick.

Both teams changed their goalkeepers with the game drawing to a close. Luke Campbell came on for the Blues and was beaten by Luypaert from the penalty spot on 61 minutes. There was still time for Campbell to save from the Dragons’ No.7 on a penalty corner but in truth this one was over as a contest.

Garvey’s fans supported their side to the end, but on the day they just didn’t have enough to upset a clinical Belgian outfit.

Dragons advance to the next round where they will once again face Reading. After the English side dumped Rotterdam out on penalties this promises to be a superb game.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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