GIBRALTAR continued to defy its size as both men and women came third in their own European hockey championships held recently in Poland and Croatia respectively.
The Rock’s warrior sports people made a real result of their experiences at the annual Eurohockey III international championships that took place at the end of July.
Minister for Sport Steven Linares sent his ‘warmest congratulations’ to the Gibraltar Hockey Association after their successes.
In addition to the bronze medals, both Gibraltar men and women got the best goalkeeper awards.
The men’s team started their round-robin tournament in Skiemiewice, Poland on July 23-29 with a battling win against Mediterranean rivals Malta.
After winning that game 3-2, they went on to thrash Lithuania and Serbia 7-2 and 5-0 respectively.
But the bubble burst against Poland who smashed them 6-0 before Croatia put another six past the local lads in the following match.
Their early success ended up granting them the bronze medal for their efforts.
While the men have bags of experience at this level, for the women of Gibraltar it was the first time competing as a national side.
The women flew to the third level of their European field hockey championships in Zagreb, Croatia from July 25 to 29 hoping to be the dark horses.
But their inexperience showed as they lost all their league games against Turkey, Switzerland and Croatia.
Lying at the bottom of the table with no points and a -12 goal difference, it seemed that they would come home empty-handed.
But in the third place playoff between Gibraltar and hosts Croatia, the side finally woke up.
In a fighting performance, Reighann Olivero took an early lead in the 12th minute before Tara Bossano-Annes made it two 17 minutes later.
Even though Croatia clawed one back, the Gibraltar women held on to clinch a well-deserved bronze medal.
On top of that, both teams’ respective goalkeepers Izzy Edwards and Joe Borg celebrated being named best shot stoppers of their respective events.
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