Men’s EuroHockey Challenge II – Kirklareli (TUR)
Nizip Zeugma SK and Építok finished in the top spots in Kirklareli to ensure their nations will be represented in Challenge I next season
Nizip Zeugma swept by the challenge of HC Luxembourg. They built a huge 5-0 lead and while Luxembourg fought back with three goals in the last 15 minutes, the host club had done enough for the promotion place.
Ömer Karakus got the ball rolling and Müslüm Ekinci made it 2-0 by half-time. Müslüm Elagöz weighed in with his seventh of the tournament and further strikes from Karakus and Emre Durmus made it 5-0 with 21 minutes still to play.
Federico Tanuscio, Oliver Rosendahl and Laurent Sweerts cut the gap but could not change the outcome for Luxembourg.
Építok were the final side to win promotion on behalf of Hungary following a thrilling late battle with Malta’s Sliema Hotsticks 2-1.
It was locked at 0-0 until the final six minutes before the game enjoyed a late explosion of goals. Zsolt Bitay broke the deadlock only for Jonathan Borg to reply to make it 1-1.
But the drama did not stop there and Építok captain Márton Wesselényi had the final say when he scored the third goal in as many minutes after a series of penalty corners.
In the battle to avoid the drop, Slovenia’s HK Triglav Predanovci stayed up with a 3-1 win over Finland’s Vantaa. It was built on goals in the first seven minutes by Uroš Balažic and Davorin Škrilec and they maintained that healthy advantage through to the end.
Sweden’s SLF Mesaicos completed an unbeaten tournament with their first ever European men’s win to go with three group stage draws. It was 8-0 against Norway’s MASK, captain Thomas Gardiner and Tharaka Gunaratne both scoring hat tricks.
** All results, pools, and game stats below from the EuroHockey Club Challenge II, Men in Kirklareli, Türkiye