Oxton and Stockport claim European glory at the European Club Championships (Ken Galluccio Cup). The tournament brings together the league champions from all over Europe and was hosted for the second year running by the Ghent Goblins LC at Blaarmeersen Park in Ghent, Belgium.
This year’s tournament brought together 23 teams, showing the growth of the game in Europe. The tournament was also a showcase that year-on-year the standard of lacrosse in Europe is rising.
England was represented by three teams, Oxton as women’s national champions, Walcountain Blues as the southern men’s league champions and Stockport as the men’s northern representatives due to Cheadle’s decision not to enter this year’s tournament.
Day one saw all the English teams win their respective groups and progress into the quarterfinals.
In the women’s tournament, Oxton met the Norwegian All-Stars in their quarterfinal, comfortably beating them 19-1 to progress to a semi-final match-up against Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday.
Blues and Stockport also cruised through their quarterfinal match-ups beating Norwegian side NTNUI and Berlin HTC respectively.
On Sunday, Oxton won their semi-final against the Edinburgh Capitals 11-4 to progress to the final to meet Czech team LLC Radotin.
Stockport beat talented Finnish side Turku Titans 8-4 in an exciting semi-final match-up.
Walcountain Blues met Swiss side Zurich Lions in their semi-final, the Swiss upsetting the prospect of an all-English final by beating the Blues 9-3.
In the final of the women’s tournament LLC Radotin was a much tougher opponent for Oxton.
The Czech’s made the Wirral based team work hard to retain their fourth consecutive European Club Championship, and they were chasing the game in second half. Goals from Sophie Brett, Alex Bruce, Torz Anderson and Ellie Jones ensured the Ken Galluccio cup remained in Oxton for another year.
In the final of the men’s tournament Stockport found the Zurich Lions an equally tough opponent. The Lions took Stockport by surprise in a high-tempo opening period and Stockport were quickly on the back foot, going two goals down in the opening few minutes.
Stockport rallied in the second quarter and regained the lead with goals from Sean Smith, Joe Singleton and Tom Gosnay, however the Lions evened the score just before halftime.
In the second half Stockport scored five un-answered goals to make the score 9-4 and to put the game out of reach of the Swiss.
Walcountain Blues took third place with an 8-4 win over Turku Titans. Torz Anderson was awarded the women’s tournament MVP.
Photos to come.