Men’s EHL Ranking Cup
M9: HC Minsk 5 (V Belousov 3, A Hancharou, M Paulovich) Three Rock Rovers 4 (B Johnson, F Morris, R Spencer, A Haughton)
HC Minsk recorded a first ever win for a Belarussian side in the EHL as they got the better of Three Rock Rovers in a true nine-goal classic with drama and entertainment galore.
Three Rock took in the 20th minute, Ryan Spencer’s perfectly weighted slip pass feeding Ben Johnson who swept first time, chipping over the goalkeeper.
It kick-started a run of four goals in quick succession with Minsk equalising from their first penalty corner via Vlad Belousov from a switch to the left. The Instagram star – with a following of over 800,000 – would go on to score a hat trick in a supreme personal performance.
He went more direct with his second corner flick to make it 2-1 but Rovers were level once more in the 25th minute when Ali Empey intercepted and laid in Fred Morris for another neatly chipped finish.
Belousov completed his treble just after half-time when he caught Aliaksandr Hancharou’s crossfield overhead, picking out the bottom corner with an accurate push.
It was back to 3-3 in the 40th minute when Mark Samuel intercepted a loose clearance and drover forward before delivering a powerful cross which Spencer dove onto to deflect in.
The sucker-punch, however came with one second showing on the stadium clock at the end of the third quarter when Hancharou was able to touch in at the back post from a left-wing cross.
They stretched out to 5-3 when Mikhail Paulovich ripped in a corner shot but the drama didn’t finish there as Ali Haughton’s rocket reverse got one back. Minsk duffed a corner chance when Rovers had withdrawn their goalkeeper while Ross Canning deflected a big chance wide.
Paulovich sat out the last five minutes on a yellow card as Rovers had a golden chance to nick a shoot-out but Minsk held on for their famous win.
Umpires: T Meissner (GER), D Rodriguez (ESP)