Swaen maintains Bloemendaal’s place at top ahead of Almere date

Tim Swaen’s pair of penalty corners has maintained HC Bloemendaal in pole position at the head of the Dutch Hoofdklasse as they head into this weekend’s tie against Almere.

They saw off AH&BC Amsterdam last weekend 2-1 with Swaen scoring in the 23rd and 59th minutes, either side of a beautiful backhand strike from Mirco Pruijser.

The win came at a cost, though, as Jorrit Croon was injured in the opening phases when shooting in what was one of his first actions since overcoming a previous injury setback. Bloemendaal did welcome back club legend Wouter Jolie to the first team due to Oliver Polkamp’s unavailability.

Those three points keep them clear of chasers HC Rotterdam who were impressive 3-0 winners over Pinoke with the in-form Sean Murray starting their run in the sixth minute before Jeroen Hertzberger added two more, bringing his total to 256 for the club. Indeed, Pinoke is his favourite opponent, netting 31 times against them.

Den Bosch continued their fine start to the season when they beat SV Kampong 2-1 with Austin Smith’s drag-flick and Noud Schoenaker putting them in the clear. Martijn Havenga got one back with seven minutes from a stroke but Den Bosch held on for the win.

HGC hold fourth thanks to a comprehensive 6-0 win over Tilburg with Maico Casella scoring a hat trick, keeping them in the fourth playoff place ahead of Amsterdam, Kampong and Oranje-Rood.

On Sunday, there are a couple of toppers on the agenda with Kampong hosting Amsterdam and HGC facing Den Bosch.