Surbiton's silver lining to European exit

This Is Local London: Losing battle: Surbiton’s Jonathan Gall gets stuck in to the Oranje Zwart defence in last Thursday’s EuroHockey League defeat                     	Picture: Hockeyimages.co.uk Losing battle: Surbiton’s Jonathan Gall gets stuck in to the Oranje Zwart defence in last Thursday’s EuroHockey League defeat Picture: Hockeyimages.co.uk

Coach Todd Williams reckons Surbiton men were the best English side in the last 16 of the EuroHockey League, despite falling at the first hurdle.

A 3-1 defeat to Oranje Zwart, the eventual beaten finalists, ended Surbiton’s interest in Europe, and they may have to wait another season for another shot after a league reorganisation reduced England’s representatives from three to two.

Williams said: “Everyone knew we had the toughest opponent, they had just won the Dutch national title.

“But we were excellent, and the feedback I’ve had is that we were the best of the three English sides out there.”

Rob Moore hit Surbiton’s consolation in Eindhoven, but it was the overall team performance that impressed Williams the most.

“I was really pleased that we pushed such a great side all the way. It was not a case of us hanging on.”

He added: “It proves we are moving in the right direction, and we are determined to get into Europe next season and use this experience to do better.”

Reading lost 4-2 to Spaniards Real Club de Polo de Barcelona and Beeston 4-3 to Belgians Waterloo Ducks, while Harvestehuder of Hamburg won the title.

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