Pinoké got their first Dutch men’s playoff campaign off to a dream start with a shoot-out win over AH&BC Amsterdam putting them into the lead of their best of three series.
Bloemendaal, meanwhile, were too strong for HGC in their semi-final, putting them ahead going into next weekend’s pivotal games with leg two on Saturday and, if required, a decider on Sunday.
For Pinoké, they won the first of their debut series against their closest neighbours at the Wagener Stadium in a shoot-out. They went behind when Trent Mitton’s high push made its way in for an early lead when Jannis van Hattum smacked in a shot in the 20th minute.
Luke Dommershuijzen restored the Amsterdam lead before half-time from a corner and they looked good for the win after some excellent saves from Joren Romijn. That was until three minutes from the end when Dennis Warmerdam volleyed in a rebound off the post for 2-2.
In the last play, Mirco Pruijser did scramble the ball into the net but the whistle had already gone for a free out and so it was destined for a shoot-out.
There, Niklas Wellen, Marlon Landbrug, Daan Bonhof and Miles Buukens all scored while Valentin Verga and Mitton missed out, giving Pinoké a 4-3 success.
“This was great,” said Warmerdam afterwards. “We’ve waited so long for this. In my case, more than ten years. We can also enjoy that for a while.”
Warmerdam has already agreed to move to Bloemendaal next season and his new club impressed once again in their 3-0 win over HGC.
Florian Fuchs opened the scoring in the second quarter with a popped finish from Jasper Brinkman’s backhand cross.
Casper van der Veen swept in the next from Tom Hiebendaal’s cross and Jasper Brinkman closed out the win.