In 2022, the Hurley ladies were still in the final of the National Championships. They then narrowly lost to Den Bosch. Now, almost two years later to the day, the world looks completely different for the Amstelveen team. After having played two of the three games in the play-offs, Hurley was relegated to the Top Class.
Hurley’s players walked off the field feeling embarrassed after the 3-1 loss to Laren. A few hours earlier they had to admit their superiority in Were Di (2-0). A setback, but not the end of the world. After all: the top two of the four teams qualified for the Hoofdklasse Hall next year.
But no matter what Hurley tried, it wasn’t possible against Laren. With players like Marente Barentsen and Michelle van der Drift, the team once again had quality on Sunday, but lacked sharpness when it mattered. Penalty corners were not allowed. Attacks were just not played cleverly. And Laren had fewer chances, but was effective in finishing.
“It is the story of this season,” said coach Bengt Kom – fresh from the dressing room after swallowing up the first disappointment. ‘It just wasn’t in too many details. Not just today, but since the very first weekend of play.’
‘Why spoil the indoor competition?’
The fact that Hurley had to play in the play-offs was in itself a major setback. On Saturday they could have played it safe by beating the already relegated Oranje-Red. That didn’t happen (2-3 loss). ‘A rollercoaster’, Kom sighed. ‘We had known for weeks that we had to get six points on Saturday. If that doesn’t work, you have no choice but to switch gears.’
Kom still had something to get off his chest. ‘Whoever made this schedule has probably never played a full round. Fighting for survival yesterday – playing two and a half games today: that in itself is a crazy plan. We’re not in a hurry, right? That is the signal that the association always gives: indoor hockey is not important, so we are brushing it off. Of course there was fatigue in the legs. Is the mental transition difficult? But the fact that we are now being relegated is mainly due to ourselves. If we do what we have to do, this won’t happen.’
Focus on the field
We already knew earlier that the lack of form this indoor season is due to an ever-changing composition. In addition to the seriously injured Romée Corver, striker Fleur Loomans and penalty corner shooter Gitte Michels were not present this weekend.
Kom: ‘As a result, we created less rhythm with each other and we just didn’t click. We have no choice but to focus fully on the field and winning the play-offs. Because even though the outcome was not positive, hopefully the indoor season will also have a positive contribution to the field. And next year we will do everything we can to get promoted. But now first cry together and close together.’