Den Bosch have claimed a remarkable 13th elite European title in 14 seasons courtesy of a 4-2 victory over defending champions Laren MHC in the final of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup. Goals from Sabine Mol (2), Maartje Paumen and Vera Vorstenbosch gave Den Bosch the title, with Kim Lammers scoring twice for Laren.
Laren – who were without injured superstar Naomi van As – produced a wonderful performance to push their Dutch rivals all the way in the contest, but Den Bosch proved themselves to be deserving winners in front of a huge crowd in Bloemendaal.
The trophy and medals were presented by European Hockey Federation President Marijke Fleuren, who also handed prize money cheques of 5000 and 2000 Euros to the respective winning and losing teams.
Sabine Mol gave Den Bosch a dream start when she scored after just 40 seconds, tapping in from close range following a surging run down the right from Margot van Geffen. Laren were clearly stunned by the early strike, but soon settled into the contest and began to create some decent chances. Netherlands star forward Kim Lammers went agonisingly close to levelling the scores with a deflection which travelled just the wrong side of the post. However, Den Bosch certainly had the better of the chances, and would surely have established a far bigger score-line were it not for the brilliance of Laren goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek who produced a string a fine saves to keep the score at 1-0 at the quarter time break.
Laren hit back early in the second period thanks to a superb deflection from the talismanic Lammers, who produced a perfectly angled touch to a cross-shot from Lieke Hulsen. It was a wonderful finish from Lammers, who showed exactly why she is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous goal-scorers. Den Bosch needed less than a minute to re-establish their lead, and again Sabine Mol was the scorer, crashing a low reverse stick shot underneath the body of Sombroek to move the score to 2-1. The latter stages of the period were evenly contested, with both Sombroek and Den Bosch keeper Lizzy Koeton making impressive saves to ensure that no further goals were scored before half time.
It was a cagey start to the third quarter by both teams, but that all changed mid-way through the period when the live-wire Lammers caught the Den Bosch defence napping. A speculative defensive clearance from Laren somehow found its way through to Olympic Gold medal winner, who charged towards goal and slipped the ball through the legs of Lizzy Koeton.
Lammers was proving to be too hot to handle, and almost completed her hat-trick with a brilliant swivel and shot which clipped the outside of the right post. However, Den Bosch were a constant threat and it came as no surprised when they moved into a 3-2 lead thanks to a trade-mark penalty corner drag-flick from inspirational captain Maartje Paumen.
Den Bosch completed the job in the fourth quarter when Vera Vorstenbosch scored a stunning deflection high into the roof of the Laren net, confirming yet another European title for this truly remarkable club.
More information about the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup can be found on www.eurohockey.org, the official website of the European Hockey Federation.
Source: European Hockey Federation
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