Grinstead finish on a high

East Grinstead finished their European indoor hockey elite division campaign on a high with a victory at the K2 in Crawley this morning.

The hosts made it three wins from their five games over the weekend in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup with a 5-4 win against French champions Valenciennes.

Having already secured their top division status on Saturday evening, Grinstead were determined to produce a good performance for their fans and they duly delivered.

They took the lead in the fourth minute from a fast break with the French goalkeeper off the pitch, David Condon and Niall Stott combining to set up Mark Pearn for a tap in.

Valenciennes goalkeeper Thibaut Lefebvre made fine saves to deny Joe Naughalty and Simon Faulkner before Pearn doubled the advantage in the final seconds of the half.

Pearn completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second half after being teed up by Condon.

Romain Gryndzinski pulled one back with a penalty stroke nine minutes from time.

Faulkner restored the three-goal advantage two minutes later and then Condon added a well-worked fifth.

That should have been it but Sullivan El Ghezzi scored three times in the final five minutes to make the final outcome appear closer than it was. El Ghezzi first converted a penalty stroke and the scored two from short corners, the second with the clock on zero.

The result means Grinstead will finish fifth in the final standings.

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