Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Maddie Hinch: ‘So proud to make history’ as Tilburg reach Dutch big league

Images like this have become a familar sight in world hockey: Maddie Hinch jumping into sprinting team-mates following shoot-out success.

At the weekend, Hinch again came to the fore as her team, Tilburg HC, advanced to the Dutch big league for the first time in the Hoofdklasse promotion/relegation play-offs.

“It only seems impossible until its done!” said a jubilant Hinch. “So proud to help make history with this incredible club and wonderful team.”

Tilburg’s shoot-out win came at the expense of HC Oranje-Rood, who were relegated for the first time in 13 years amidst much emotion.

“My heart is really broken, I can’t make anything else out of it,” said captain Lisa Scheerlinck. “This is really horrible to go through. We fought until the very last second, but unfortunately it is not enough.

“This way you don’t want to lose. You can see from the reactions that this is hitting hard.”

Coached by Ageeth Boomgaard and Maartje Paumen, Tilburg were bolstered this season by Hinch, Ireen van den Assem and Donja Zwinkels.

On Sunday they realised their aim of reaching the top flight after the play-off went to a third consecutive shoot-out.

A penalty corner from Frédérique Matla with forty seconds left on the clock saw Den Bosch to a 21st national title following a thrilling 2-1 win over SCHC.

The perennial champions will now see several changes. Captain Marloes Keetels retires, Lidewij Welten will play for Kampong and midfielder Margot van Geffen makes the switch to HGC.

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