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Hockey: Scotland poised to hold on to eighth place

Scotland have retained their eighth place in the EuroLeague ranking just issued by the European Hockey Federation after the first round pool competitions a month ago.

As it stands, Scotland would hold on to its two-club status in the EuroLeague for next season, but there is still the knock-out matches to come next March and also the results of the lesser EuroHockey Club Trophy to be included.

The Scots should pick up more valuable ranking points as Glynhill Kelburne have made it to the last 16 of the EuroLeague for the first time since the 2007/2008 season, but face a daunting task against German side Uhlenhorst Mulheim in March.

The catalyst in Kelburne`s success was a grafting 3-1 win over Austrians AHTC Wien, that put the Paisley side into second spot behind Rot-Weiss Koln, but sufficient to advance to the knock-out stages.

The immediate danger to the Scots two-team status could come from Ireland, they are presently ninth in the ranking and their side, Lisnagarvey, play KHC Dragons from Belgium in the knock-out stages. There is also the lesser trophy tournament where countries below Scotland in the rankings – Ireland, Austria, Poland and Italy – also have teams participating, but the points available here are much less than the elite EuroLeague.

The Scots have no sides at this level, Grange played in the EuroLeague this season, but picked up no points with two massive defeats. However, a good performance by Kelburne against Mulheim could start to put pressure on Russia and France, the countries ranked sixth and seventh respectively. Both their club sides failed to make to the knock-out stages and consequently there will be no further points available to either.

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