Racing scrape past newly promoted Polo’s challenge

France’s two EHL-bound clubs started their respective national league campaigns with narrow wins with Saint Germain beating Stade Francais while Racing Club de France beat newly promoted Polo.

For Polo, it was a strong showing against the three in-a-row winners as goalkeeper Thibault Lefebvre played a key role. He could do nothing to deny Jean-Laurent Kieffer’s penalty corner goal in the 11th minute.

Polo fought back quickly to level the match seven minutes later via Charles Coffigniez. While Racing had most of the opportunities, they went behind in the second half following a counter-attack with Grégoire Lardeur scoring for Polo.

It forced Racing into action and they got level via Simon Martin-Brisac’s individual goal and then via a powerful push from Christopher Peters-Deutz to eventually secure a 3-2 victory despite plenty of late pressure.

Racing featured Alastair Haughton for the first time, the Irishman – who played in the EHL in 2008/09 with Three Rock Rovers – making the move to the club from Paris Jean Bouin and starting in midfield.

Saint Germain won their tie 3-2 as well with Hugo Genestet, Joris Harou and Stijn Gabriel scoring the goals. The shock of the day saw Wattignies beat Lyon 4-3 with the towering Benjamin Lahaut scoring twice, the second of which proved the winner.
CA Montrouge edged out Lille courtesy of two goals from Sebastien Lefrant.