Women’s ABN AMRO EHL FINAL4
Den Bosch 2 (M Krekelaar, F Matla) Gantoise 0
Reigning champions Den Bosch advanced to the GRAND FINAL as they eventually broke down an excellent Gantoise who put it up to the Dutch giants throughout the contest.
Penalty corner moves from Maartje Krekelaar and Frédérique Matla were the winning of the game in the second half to see off the Belgian club’s resistance, a result which ends their incredible run of 90 games without defeat in normal time.
The ever-dangerous Matla was a pivotal figure and she almost created the opening goal for Krekelaar in the fifth minute when she stole the ball off the last defender and crossed. Matla’s pass, though, was deemed backstick, ruling out the goal on video review.
Den Bosch had further corner chances while Gantoise, through Stephanie vanden Borre’s brilliant defensive work and Emilie Sinia’s driving runs were big defining performances.
Into the third quarter, Matla next set free Pleun van der Plas but her shot was brilliantly blocked by a jumping vanden Borre.
But they were powerless to keep out the opening goal in the 39th minute from another corner with Matla disguising her push to the right post where Krekelaar was sliding in to touch in, 1-0.
Anne-Sophie vanden Borre went closest to getting Gantoise on the board from her angled corner shot but Josine Koning read it well, getting down low to block it and any potential tip-in attempt.
And the game was put to bed when Matla dragged in another set piece direct into the corner for her fifth goal of the week. Gantoise tried gamely to pick up something on the counter but Den Bosch were composed to run out healthy 2-0 winners.
Den Bosch – Gantoise 2-0 (0-0)
39’ Maartje Krekelaar 1-0
46’ Frédérqiue Matla 2-0 (pc)
Ranking Match: Pegasus 1 (K McKee) Surbiton 2 (M Dowthwaite, S Evans)
Surbiton struck twice in quick succession to earn a 2-1 win over Three Rock Rovers and earn a share of fifth place in terms of the women’s EHL rankings.
Meg Dowthwaite and Sarah Evans scored in the 37th and 39th minutes and while Pegasus rallied in the closing stages, they will settle for the seventh place points.
It was a scoreless first half. Pegasus had the first main chances with Taite Doherty and Katie McKee both going close after Lucy McKee’s sharp stickwork in the circle got them right up to the goal.
Pegs defended well around the circle to keep out Surbiton after that while the London side went very close from a corner move with Georgie Twigg’s deflection going just wide.
The deadlock was broken seven minutes into the second half when Dowthwaite popped home off the back of some gorgeous stickwork from Holly Payne, the ball looping over the impressive Irish goalkeeper Megan Todd.
And Payne’s influence was critical in a unique penalty corner move, dummying a reverse stick shot which Leah Wilkinson slapped into the mixer instead, Evans ramping the ball into the net from around the flick-spot.
It put the Londoners en route to the precious ranking points for England. Pegasus did get on the scoreboard with just over 90 seconds to go, a special run and finish from Katie McKee as she raced into the circle from 35-metres out and then unleashed a backhand shot into the corner.
Pegasus – Surbiton 1-2 (0-0)
37’ Meg Dowthwaite 0-1
39’ Sarah Evans 0-2 (pc)
59’ Katie McKee 1-2