The Netherlands completed the perfect tournament as they defeat hosts Poland in the final 7-3, taking gold from the first ever women’s EuroHockey5s Championship.
The hosts, though, along with third placed Ukraine will also take home more than a medal as their performances this week booked them World Cup tickets.
In the final, Danique van der Veerdonk opened the scoring with a now-trademark shot from distance, slapping home from close to halfway for 1-0. Carlijn Tukkers broke free to slide home the second goal on her backhand and it was 3-0 courtesy of captain Noor de Baat, set up by Lana Kalse.
Monika Polewczak got one back before half-time with a pin-point from the left hand side, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
A cagey spell followed before the Dutch made their key move in the 22nd minute with Faye Muijderman with a sharp reaction from a half-stopped ball in front of goal.
Marloes Timmermans quickly taken free and shot added another for 5-1 before a mad few minutes of goals were exchanged. Marlena Rybacha’s stroke was followed by a Bente van der Veldt riposte.
Polewczak scored a challenge to make it 6-3 but de Baat concluded the win from a perfect team move to spark the big celebrations.
Speaking afterwards, de Baat said: “Really great; it was such a nice match against Poland. The atmosphere was really nice and we played really well.
“It was easy to motivate ourselves, especially playing against the hometown side. We had a really nice support too with all the parents and sisters here too.”
Along with Poland, they now go on to the World Cup in Oman where they will be joined by Ukraine who became the third team to secure a place as they scored three times in each half to defeat Switzerland 6-2, taking the bronze medal with it.
Oksana Ponomarenko finished off a simple goal to start the ball rolling from a Kateryna Shokalenko assist. Yevheniya Kernoz’s forceful reverse-stick shot made it two but was countered by a Sofie Stomps rocket.
But Ukraine had a 3-1 half-time lead when Kateryna Popova’s push took a wicked deflection to make it into the bottom corner.
And the result was put to bed with a run of three goals in as many minutes; Karyna Leonova battled to scramble in the fourth goal and then deflected in the fifth. A gorgeous touch from Olha Honcharenko made it 6-1 with time running out, rendering Carina Zimmerman’s goal a consolation effort.
Ukraine goalkeeper and captain Alina Fadieieva said her side were delighted with how they bounced back to land a World Cup spot having come so close in the semi-final against Poland: “I am very satisfied for this excellent game from our team. I want to say thank you to all our supporters that watched the game. We have a lot of emotions.
“We had a great preparation with our team [before the tournament]. After the semi-final, we were quite angry because we had a lot of chances to win it and make the final but we are satisfied to do it today and go to the World Cup. This is a victory for all of Ukraine!”
Inspired by tournament top scorer Perihan Çinar, Türkiye swept to fifth place with a 7-4 win over Austria with their captain scoring four times.
Indeed, three of those came in the first eight minutes as the Turks were 2-0 up in next to no time and then edged clear 4-3 at half-time.
For Austria, their star striker Isabella Klausbruckner scored a hat trick to bring her tournament total to 18, the last of which brought her side level at 4-4 in the second half.
But another Çinar goal and further efforts from Fatma Songül Gültekin and Kübra Güzelal saw them race away in the last few minutes.
Çinar ended the competition with 22 goals to her name, 14 from play, seven challenges and one stroke.
Wales edged out Sweden 4-3 to end their campaign in seventh place. It was built around an excellent first half in which captain Joanne Westwood, Lily Roberts and Katie Partridge scored built a 3-0 lead.
The Swedes cut the gap to 3-2 via Nora Tien and Charlotte Guitink before Westwood – with her seventh goal of the tournament – got the vial goal in the 22nd minute. Laetitia Schrader did respond for Sweden but they could not find an equaliser in the last six minutes.
Slovakia won their first EuroHockey5s match to finish in ninth place overall with a 9-4 success against Georgia,
They built a 3-0 half-time lead via Vanessa Čapová, Dominika Chebenova and Natalia Fondrkova; Georgia cut the gap to 3-2 via Nato Shotadze and Teona Kupradze but a second half hat trick from Šarlota Medvikova allowed the Slovaks to pull away.
In the individual awards, Switzerland’s Ursina Fazis was goalkeeper of the tournament and Poland’s Amelia Katerla was player of the tournament.
** All games available to watch again on www.eurohockeytv.org
** Full results here: