De Wijn intervention breaks Holcombe hearts

Holcombe defend a penalty corner Credit EHL

Kampong 2
Sander De Wijn 37, 55 (PC, FG)

Holcombe 1
Sam Ward 21 (FG)

Sander De Wijn’s double strike, the second just five minutes from time fired reigning Euro Hockey League Champions Kampong to a 2-1 win against England’s Holcombe HC in the pool stage of this year’s competition.

The much fancied Dutch outfit trailed to a 21st minute Sam Ward strike and were kept at bay by a sterling defensive effort from Julian Halls’ team.

The English side were forced to absorb a huge amount of pressure throughout the tie but they were the side to break the deadlock. Dan Fox’s pass found Nick Bandurak whose shot was saved but Ward reacted first to knock home the rebound.

Holcombe’s stubborn resistance ensured they went into half time in the lead with Fox colossal in the backline.  Kampong created plenty of chances and got back on level terms after De Wijn slammed home a penalty corner rebound after a fine save from George Pinner.  

Holcombe, knowing a win would see them reach the KO16, hit back and created some openings, with Barry Middleton taking the game by the scruff of the neck. They were unable to find a way past Davey Harte in the Kampong goal. With time running out De Wijn peeled away from his marker and unleashed a vicious backhand shot to win the day and leave Holcombe’s chances of progressing hanging by a thread.

For the English side to progress, they require AZS AWF Poznan to defeat the Dutch side. A draw or a Kampong win sees the holders advance.