English Subbuteo Association

Hawks Soar To Impressive European Debut!

Harrow Hawks finished a creditable 14th in the Europa League on their European team championship debut.

With the Europa Cup for Clubs tournament split into three tiers after the initial qualifying stage, Harrow made the second level Europa League after finishing fifth in their pool, and then ensured they avoided a place in the lowest play-off there, thanks to a victory over Budapest.

The Hawks – an all-English quartet of Luca Martinelli, Panos Stemitsiotis, Rudi Peterschinigg and Victor Jones – also had the honour of being the highest placed UK team, after finishing 5 places above Dundee United in the overall standings.

In a tough field of 36 of the best teams from across Europe, Harrow faced a difficult proposition of progressing to the Champions League proper, but started well with a solid 3-1 win over Schwalbach of Germany.

A 0-4 scoreline against TSC Falcons Athens belied a battling performance. Jones twice equalised against Sergio Loureiro, in an eventual 4-2 defeat, Stemitsiotis led Giannis Sioutis at half time, before Georgios Koutis took over for a 3-1 win, whilst the remaining games were both decided by just single goals.

However, a similar result versus Seraing was less impressive, with a collective goal difference of 1-13, which put paid to any hope of a fourth-place group finish, and assignment as a seed in the Europa League.

And with a minimal squad, bereft of extras, to spread the stresses and strains of games against top class players, two further comprehensive losses followed against the Italian giants of Bologna and Napoli.

Jones and Peterschinigg took heavy personal defeats in the former game, though Martinelli led at half time in his match against Sergio Ramos, before the substitute Gerardo Patruno secured a 2-1 victory.

Sunday didn’t start well for the Hawks either, as they trailed by a single goal in all four legs at half time in their last 16 Europa League match-up with SC Lion’s Eugies. The game didn’t improve in the second half, as the Belgian side added to each of their leads, to seal a 4-0 win.

In the ensuing positional place play-offs, a 3-1 defeat to TSC Phoenix of Austria – Peterschinigg overturning a half-time deficit to gain an impressive individual win over Thomas Busch – was followed by a 2-1 success over Budapest – Jones and Martinelli with the individual victories – to set up a 13th place play off against local side JSC Rochefort.

There, Martinelli again achieved personal success with a 3-2 win over Nathan Dizier, in an overall 3-1 defeat for the Hawks.

* Whilst Harrow were the only English team in attendance, England International Christian Short was also present, representing Valletta, who he helped to eighth place in the Champions League proper.

* In a tournament dominated by Italian teams, Bari Reggio Emilia secured a third successive Champions League title, with victory over SC Fiamme Azzurre in the final. Italy claimed the top 5 places in the competition. Olympia Club of Greece won the Europa League final on goal difference against Rochefort TS.

Harrow Hawks TSC – Results

Champions League – Qualifying group stage
vs BSC Schwalbach (Germany) 3-1
vs SC Falcons Athens (Greece) 0-4
vs SC Seraing (Belgium) 0-4
vs Bologna Tigers (Italy) 0-4
vs CCT Eagles Napoli (Italy) 0-4

Europa League
vs SC Lion’s Eugies (Belgium) 0-4 (Last 16)
vs TSC Phoenix (Austria) 1-3 (9th – 16th play-off)
vs Budapest (Hungary) 2-1 (13th – 16th play-off)
vs JSC Rochefort (Belgium) 1-3 (13th – 14th play-off)

Report by Victor Jones

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