Pruyser hat trick shoots down Wimbledon

Wimbledon huddle EHL2016

Mirco Pruyser’s hat trick saw Amsterdam come back from an early deficit to reach Monday’s KO8 where they will meet Real Club de Polo in front of a packed Wagener Stadium.

In so doing, the Dutch star striker moved him up to 20 EHL goals, level with Guillermo Schickendantz in fifth place on the all-time goalscorers list.

It came during an impressive, high octane match. Just four minutes into their debut in the EHL, Wimbledon got on the score sheet with Ian Sloan’s lovely pass picking out Phil Ball on the right baseline and he drew a foul from Johannes Mooij. It led to a stroke that Phil Roper converted for 1-0.

The lead, however, was short-lived with Billy Bakker, as so often, unlocking the door for Mirco Pruyser to slam home a backhand shot through the legs of James Bailey.

And it became 2-1 in the 23rd minute with Pruyser getting on the end of a lovely move. Klaas Vermeulen was the creative force with a piece of control to cut a long ball into the path of Valentin Verga who lifted the ball gently into Pruyser’s path and he did the rest.

Wimbledon battled hard and had their moments, not least when Ball was found alone in the circle but Laurens Goedegebuure got out brilliantly to slide into the path of the ball and deflect it away.

The English side kept out two corners from Justin Reid-Ross but Amsterdam finally got breathing space after an interchange on the right baseline via Verga and Jan-Willem Buissant to set up Pruyser to push home his hat-trick.

Wimbledon rallied, coming close from a pair of corners while John Kinder and Ian Sloan were unable to mop up the pieces from a big chance with six minutes to go.

Wimbledons Richie Dawson-Smith

Goedegebuure saved another clever corner switch move, as well as the follow-up. Steven Ebbers late sweep shot flashed wide as Amsterdam got over a tricky hurdle.

Wimbledon’s exit ended English interest in the competition this year, with the other English representative, East Grinstead exiting in the first round.

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Image Credit: Euro Hockey League/Frank Uijlenbroek. This image may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of the EHL or the photographer.