Den Bosch secure EHL Women’s ticket and men’s Hoofdklasse playoff place

Den Bosch guaranteed they will have a chance to defend their EHL Women’s title as they topped the Hoofdklasse’s regular season title, taking one of the European tickets on offer for the Netherlands.

It meant they got the win they needed to stay ahead of AH&BC Amsterdam on goal difference after 22 rounds of competition as they beat Laren 6-0.

Before the game, Laren needed a miracle win at Oosterplas to avoid relegation after 32 seasons in succession in the top flight.

And they gave it a good shot in the first half which ended scoreless but Den Bosch swept clear in the second half as Frédérique Matla’s squeeze shot into the top corner set the ball rolling.

Maartje Krekelaar turned in the second and Pleun van der Plas coolly scored the third in the 48th minute. Matla got her second with another assured finish, controlling in mid-circle and pushing into the bottom corner.

Teuntje de Wit and Lidewij Welten completed the win in the closing ten minutes.

Amsterdam, for their part, beat hdm 2-0 with goals from Fay van der Elst and Michelle Fillet. SCHC finished third with a 2-1 win against Victoria with striker GInella Zerbo and Pien Dicke on the mark.

Den Bosch will play hdm while Amsterdam meet SCHC on Thursday in the first leg of the semi-finals with return meetings two days later.

In the men’s competition, Den Bosch completed the semi-final line-up with their 3-0 win over Hurley on home turf. Austin Smith’s penalty corner drag-flick and a typical Jelle Galema striker’s goal making it 2-0 at half-time.

Koen Bijen then powered home the crucial third to keep them out of range of Pinoké in the chase for a playoff place, despite their 8-1 win over Tilburg.

Their reward for their efforts is a semi-final playoff series against Bloemendaal on Wednesday and Saturday with a potential third leg on Sunday.

Third place HC Rotterdam come up against SV Kampong in the other semi-final.

Bloemendaal closed out the regular season with a 2-2 draw against Rotterdam to finish six points clear while Kampong defeated Amsterdam 6-3.