Apr 04 2015, Bloemendaal: Oranje Zwart claimed the Junior Euro Hockey League title following six high octane battles at Bloemendaal on Good Friday, holding off the intentions of Atletic Terrassa, KHC Dragons and UHC Hamburg.
In the end, the crucial match proved the opening one of the day as OZ came from a goal down against Atletic to win 2-1, their closest match of the competition.
Joan Dalmases had given the Catalan side an early lead but Sheldon Schouten and a late goal from Cas Dingen swapped the lead in the second half.
The Dutch side duly went on to pick up results against Dragons and UHC. It meant they were presented the trophy by world hockey legend Teun de Nooijer.
Speaking about the event, OZ’s Tijn Hoefakker was delighted with the tournament, telling the Haarlems Dagblad: “We were treated like real pros, getting a bus to the stadium and staying in the hotel. It really gives a big boost.”
The tournament was played under the same rules as the EHL with top level umpires and tournament officials overseeing the round-robin event.
And Hoefakker said it was a real experience of how the top players go about their business.
“In the first match we had problems with nerves. The level is higher and the umpires are more strict so you had to leave the pitch straightaway when you got a green card.”
It was the second edition of the junior EHL and the first to feature international teams following its introduction a year ago in Eindhoven.
Photograph: Hannie Verhoeven