EHL winners Bloemendaal unable to defend title

[img_assist|nid=8158|title=Kampong win 2-1 vs Bloemendaal to seal their place in the EHL for the first time|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=155]SV Kampong will be making their Euro Hockey League debut next season after sealing third place in the Hoodklasse Play-Offs. The Utrecht-based team overcame newly crowned EHL champions HC Bloemendaal 4-0 and 2-1 to guarantee their place in the prestigious European competition, joining the already qualified Oranje Zwart and H.C. Rotterdam. Watch the highlights here

Kampong were in rampant form during their first play-off match against Bloemendaal, surging to a 3-0 half time lead thanks to goals from Robbert Kemperman and Pieter Wiegman (2) before Constantijn Jonker added a fourth in the second half. The second match was a much closer affair, with Bloemendaal’s Chris Ciriello cancelling out an early strike from Kampong’s ace marksman Roderick Weusthof. However, a last minute penalty corner from Jonker grabbed a dramatic victory for Kampong, confirming their first ever qualification for the Euro Hockey League.  

The results mean that HC Bloemdendaal have become the third successive EHL champion unable to defend their title through failure to qualify, following in the footsteps of HGC (NED – 2011) and UHC Hamburg (GER – 2012).  

In other news from The Netherlands, the winner of the Dutch championship is still undetermined after finalists H.C. Rotterdam and Oranje Zwart won a game each in the best of three play-offs. 

H.C. Rotterdam grabbed a 2-0 victory in the first game thanks to a penalty corner from Steve Edwards and an open play strike from Björn Kellerman. However, Oranje Zwart hit back in game two, sneaking a 3-2 win courtesy of an extra time goal from Rob Reckers. 

With both teams earning a win, a third and final match has been brought into play. The title will be decided when the two teams meet on Sunday 2nd June.

Hoofdklasse Play offs 

24 May – Match Day 1
3-4 play-off: H.C. Rotterdam 2-0 Oranje Zwart
1-2 play-off: Kampong 4-0 HC Bloemendaal

26 May – Match Day 2
3-4 play-off: Bloemendaal 1-2 Kampong
1-2 play-off: Oranje Zwart 3-2 H.C. Rotterdam

2 June – Match Day 3
1-2 play-off: Oranje Zwart v H.C. Rotterdam