Veteran’s: HBU finish above Barcelona
On 11 June, Herne Bay United veterans traveled to St Hipolit de Votrega in Catalonia to play the Evricup tournament (35+).
HBU’s group matches, both of which were on Thursday, were against 2 Spanish teams, Vilafranca and FC Barcelona. This was a tough group with FCB appearing for the first time in the event and expecting to be the winners.
In the first match against Vilafranca, HBU started hesitantly and goals were scored by both sides, but as the 2nd half drew to a close HBU retained more energy and ran out comfortable winners 7 – 3.
HBU had 3 hours in which to eat and try to regain some energy for the match with FCB. Some very familiar roller hockey personalities took the floor for FCB but United defended strongly and at half time FCB had a 2 – 1 lead. FCB continued where they left off in the second half and increased their lead to 4 – 1. Then Brendan Barker managed to find a hole somewhere under the FCB goalkeeper bringing it back to 4 – 2 but nothing much changed in FCB’s domination otherwise.
With about 7 minutes left, Barker scored an out of the blue slapshot from just inside the half way line which drew a standing ovation from the crowd. FCB’s composure left them and Barker started to cause a lot of concern in front of their goal. This led to 2 penalties in the last minute both of which Barker converted. The unimaginable had happened HBU 5 FCB 4 and big grins on the faces of the HBU team and pretty much everyone in the building.
HBU had won their group and would now face the other group winners in the semi-finals on Friday. HBU’s semi final was against Barcino. While HBU had beaten Barcino last year in Herne Bay, Barcino had added to their full squad and HBU were without some of their out-players. Through new (old) star Tony Sachez, Barcino tore HBU apart and won comfortably 10 – 3. This meant that HBU had to play Portuguese team Parede for 3rd/4th place on Saturday.
Each afternoon it rained a little but today the heavens opened and there was a major thunderstorm which saw water flowing around the courtyard and coming into the stands where windows had been left open. This continued throughout HBU’s match with Parede and the match was equally exciting with each team scoring and swapping the lead. HBU had a penalty which, today, Barker failed to convert. Then Parede had 2 direct free hits both of which they scored. With the score at 5 – 5, Phil McVey converted a penalty and HBU were 6 – 5 with 3 minutes on the clock. We immediately took a time-out to compose ourselves to defend the last 3 minutes but a scoring opportunity arose that could not be resisted and it failed giving rise to a counter attack through which Parede leveled the score.
Play ended at 6 – 6 and had to be decided on direct three hits. HBU’s were dismal in their free-hits and Parede managed to beat Dan Barton once and so secured 3rd place. HBU were 4th, one place behind last year in Herne Bay.
Barcino won the tournament beating Valkenswaard from Holland 6 – 2.
FCB finished in 5th place one lower than HBU.
Barker scoring all 5 against FCB got a special mention in the presentation.
HBU Team: Garrett Priestley (GK), Dan Barton (GK), Phil McVey (4)(captain), Nigel Mills(1), Brendan Barker(12), Richard Walker, Nick Barton(1), Simon Hosking(3).
Footnote: Wednesday’s (June 11th) Daily Telegraph carried an article on page 9 (“England team upstages Barcelona – shame they are too young for Brazil”) about a children’s football team (under 1) from Upminster that had managed to beat an FCB academy team in Spain in a tournament. But we did not see it until after our result!
The European Veteran Roller hockey Invitational Cup, in short Evricup, was created in 2003 when the first tournament was played in Barcelona. This tournament was the result of a collaboration between Barcino and Geieg from Spain, Castiglione from Italy and Dreamteam from The Netherlands. Following the initiative of Angel Figueroa Messrs. Labory, Escuder, Becacci and Ben Veerman have organized annually a veterans tournament, using their extensive international network.
Over the years the Evri-cup has become the largest international Veterans tournament in the world. In the early years played in a single category, namely 35 +. Because it showed in the course of time that the quality and level went up, the 50 + category was introduced during the tournament in 2009 in Zaandam. Finally in 2009, rules were established that participants must comply with and the International Evricup Committee (IEC) was established.
The objective of the Evricup circuit is to promote roller hockey in the broadest sense and provide a platform for the older players to be able to compete in their favorite sport.
Last year (2013) the Evricup was held in the Bay Sports Arena in Herne Bay from May 29 until June 1 with Herne bay United coming 3rd behind winners Paço de Arcos from Portugal and Lobinhos also from Portugal. The 2014 event took place in Voltrega (Spain).
The following cities are signed up to organize the tournament:
Paco de Arcos (Portugal) 2015
Trieste (Italy) 2016