City team in Europe for sixth season

Hornets press in the closing stages of the final
Hornets press in the closing stages of the final
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Hallamshire Hornets have qualified for the Men’s European Cup for the sixth successive season.

Hornets were the first British side to win the European trophy in 2009 anf finished in the top four for the next four years, finishing runners-up this year.

They qualified for Europe again by reaching the British final - for the sixth successive time.

But they wer unable to make it a hat-trick of wins in the national final as they went down 7-3 to Southern champions, Borehamwood Crusaders.

The 7–3 flattered Crusaders in a game that tilted massively in their favour when Hornets conceded a minor two-minute penalty with three and half minutes to go.

Hornets trailed 4-3 but added three further goals - two in the dying seconds with the netminder pulled in Hornets’ attempt to reduce the deficit.

Hornets led 3-2 at the end of the second period, through Alex Pearman, feeding off a rebound from a Richard Walsh slap shot, Tom Sweet and Matt Tarpey, with a superb wrist shot.

In the Group stages Hornets beat London Street Warriors 3-2 and Cardiff Panthers 8–0.

The win against London was largely down to Hornets captain Richard Walsh, scoring a hat trick, with three top class slap shots.

Matt Tarpey hit four against Cardiff, including a beautifully taken solo effort, the others coming from Matt Viney, Walsh, a solo effort from Tom Sweet, and a neat finish in front of goal by Paul Lane from a neat pass by Scott Glover. Ales Pearman made two assists.

The quarterfinal proved awkward in the early stages of the first period against pumped up, energetic opponents. Goals from Pearman 3, Scott Glover, Matt Smith and Walsh eased the side through to a comfortable 6 - 1 win.

For the second year running Hornets faced northern rivals Wigan Warlords in the semis and though the 8-2 result looked one sided it proved just as tense and hard-fought as last season.

The game will be remembered for two great goal strikes from Tarpey and Lane before the interval. Tarpey went to grab three further goals, with Walsh and Lane notching braces.

* Hornets had three players, Walsh, Pearman and Tarpey - voted into the Dream Team after the finals, together with Andy Baybutt of Wigan and Crusaders netminder Martin Spight.