Long Rot-Weiss run in EHL comes to an end in German quarters

One of the longest continuous run in the men’s Euro Hockey League will come to an end next season as Rot-Weiss Köln missed out on a place in the German final four.

They have played in the past 12 editions of the competition, level with Poland’s WKS Grunwald Poznan and one behind Dinamo Kazan’s 13-year run.

Rot-Weiss were unable to turn the tide against Crefelder HTC, ending their three-year reign as national champions as they lost the first two of their best-of-three quarter-final.

In Saturday’s game two, Rot-Weiss made a dream start as Tom Grambusch’s penalty corner and a Michel Struthoff goal built a 2-0 lead in the first 12 minutes.

But Crefeld defended brilliantly with former Rot-Weiss keeper Joshua Onyekwue Nnjaji in inspired form – a hero in the first leg – producing similar heroics.

And star man Niklas Wellen forced their way back into the contest with a first goal in the 42nd minute and he equalised in the 55th minute from a corner.

That sent the game to a shoot-out where Crefeld prevailed with Wellen, Martin Ignacio Ferreiro and Linus Michler all scoring while Rot-Weiss failed to score.

It earned them a place at next weekend’s final four in Bonn where they will meet Mannheimer HC, the only side from the regular season’s top four to make it through.

MHC landed a huge 10-3 win over Harvestehuder THC to make it two wins from two from their series.

The other half saw Hamburger Polo club beat city rivals UHC 5-1 while Der Club an der Alster defeated Uhlenhorst Mülheim in game three.

Alster had won the first leg before losing the Saturday second leg in a shoot-out. It sent it to a decisive third game which Uhlenhorst were 1-0 up with seven minutes to go.

But Anton Boeckel and Fred Newbold struck within two minutes of each other to see Alster grab a 2-1 win.