Belfius EuroHockey Championships
Women’s semi-final: England 0 Netherlands 8 (L Welten 2, C van Maasakker 2, L Leurink 2, X de Waard, M Keetels)
The Netherlands produced the biggest semi-final win in the women’s EuroHockey Championships as they smashed England with a devastating display in Antwerp.
A flawless first half saw the Dutch lead 3-0 and they sped away into the distance in the second half with five more goals as they continue to grow into the competition in pursuit of a 10th title.
Laurien Leurink set the ball rolling in the 12th minute from a corner into a semi-guarded goal as Maddie Hinch’s save was not cleared by her defence, leaving her to chase Lidewij Welten who passed the ball around her for 1-0.
Welten doubled the lead with an awesome power-shot on her backhand in the 20th minute, turning the defenders inside and out before shooting home.
Caia van Maasakker completed the first half scoring with a high drag-flick down the goalkeeper’s glove side, getting one by her former club mate at SCHC.
Marloes Keetels added to the lead in the third quarter when Leurink found her available on the left of the circle. Xan de Waard’s corner deflection accounted for the fifth and a great dummy from Frederique Matla opened the door for van Maasakker to score her second of the day.
Matla then set up Welten for a magnificent seventh before Leurink slapped in the last of the day off the inside of the post.
Speaking after the win, Welten said her side is hitting form at the right time after two opening draws to the campaign.
“We didn’t start off well in this tournament but we kept having faith in each other and we are growing into the tournament. It didn’t fall for us against Spain but it did today and I think we did very well.
“Big trees catch a lot of wind. It’s a Dutch phrase which means when people know you, they always have an opinion about you. It’s not always the nicest opinion but that’s ok. That’s the curse of being a big tree but it also has a lot of benefits. It’s all part of the game.
“I always kept having faith even though we drew those first two games. Of course this feels good and it is something that we needed.”
The Netherlands will now play in Sunday’s final at 16.00 (CET).
Umpires: M Meister (GER), S Wilson (SCO)
England – Netherlands
12’ Laurien Leurink (PC) 0-1
20’ Lidweij Welten (FG) 0-2
28’ Caia van Maasakker (PC) 0-3
35’ Marloes Keetels (FG) 0-4
43’ Xan de Waard (PC) 0-5
50’ Caia van Maasakker (PC) 0-6
51’ Lidewij Welten (PC) 0-7
55’ Laurien Leurink (FG) 0-8