Dominant Den Bosch too strong for Club de Campo in first ever EHL Women’s final


HC ’s Hertogenbosch 5 (F Matla 3, L Welten, M Krekelaar) Club de Campo de Madrid 0

Den Bosch became the first ever EHL Women’s champions with a dominant performance to get the best of Club de Campo de Madrid in the GRAND FINAL at the Wagener Stadium as Frédérique Matla fired a hat trick.

It carried on their incredible run of success from the old EuroHockey Club Champions Cup when they won 16 titles, the most of any club in the top tier competition.

Campo were going in search of their first gold medal at this elevated level, their 2008 7-0 final defeat in the old Club Cup against Den Bosch their only final appearance before the competition got its new #EquallyAmazing revamp.

Speaking after the final, player of the game Matla summed it up, saying: “It feels great. It’s the first edition of the EHL and I am so proud to have the trophy in my hands on behalf of the team. It couldn’t be better.

“It has been two years since we have played for a prize and because it is Raoul’s last year, it is really special for him so we can send him with, at least, an EHL title and I hope a national title soon which we will do our best for him and our team.”

For Den Bosch coach Raoul Ehren, it was a memorable send-off from his last European campaign before taking up the head coach job with Belgium full-time this summer, making it eight Euro titles since 2009 as head coach.

The Brabant club were the main protagonists in the first half but they got little change from the Club de Campo defence in the opening 15 minutes. The main opening came via Welten whose burst of speed opened up a chance but she could not find the sweet connection to test Maria Ruiz.

That golden touch did come early in the second quarter, though, when Pien Sanders produced an excellent turnover and fed the ball forward to Welten. Driving with pace and purpose, she unleashed a beautiful shot on her backhand from the left-side of the circle, all the way across into the bottom corner.

Sanders’ range of passing was a feature of the game and she brilliantly picked out Joosje Burg on the charge with a full-width sweep but the chance came to nothing.

Campo, meanwhile, were living on the counter which almost yielded an opening for Sara Barrios but Bea Perez’s pass in behind the last defender proved just out of reach.

The Den Bosch lead was doubled just before the end of the quarter from their second penalty corner. Ruiz did well to keep out Frédérique Matla’s first drag-flick but the next one was perfect, locating a low route to the backboard.

The Spanish champions took to the second half with greater attacking intent, forcing Josine Koning into her first save of note while Alicia Magaz had more time than she realised from an inviting chance.

But the game was all but sealed with 20 minutes to go when Laura Nunnink’s raking pass found Matla’s run. Like Welten before her, she pushed it out onto her reverse-stick arc and shot powerfully at Ruiz who was unable to keep it out.

A simple fourth goal followed when Marloes Keetels picked off possession on the 23-metre line. A quick pass to Welten created a two-on-one which Maartje Krekelaar finished off.

Matla crowned the victory with another powerful corner drags with six minutes to go to extend the lead to 5-0.

Den Bosch: J Koning, R Fernig, I van den Assem, T de Wit, P Sanders, S Koolen, F Matla, J Burg, M Keetels, L Welten, L Nunnink

Subs: P van der Plas, D van der Veerdonk, N Omrani, E Oonk, I van der Hoek, M Krekelaar, L van Bergen

Club de Campo: M Ruiz, R Gutierrez, E Gil, B Perez, B Garcia, M Lopez, C Cano, C Mejias, A Marquinez, A Torres-Quevedo, A Magaz

Subs: S Barrios, P Campoy, B Gonzalez-Laguillo, L Abajo Saenz de Tejada, L Barrios, B Varela, M Tello

Umpires: Y den Slooten (NED), L Delforge (BEL)