Schaerweijde’s bid for promotion to wait another year

Andrew Mellor Roar Rookie

By , Andrew Mellor is a Roar Rookie

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    Scott Tupper of Schaerweijde Hockey Club, on the outskirts of Utrecht in the Netherlands, scored a goal from a penalty corner after the full-time siren sounded on the last day of the regular season.

    You would think by the celebrations his team had won the Hookdklasse, the top league in the Netherlands, but no. The goal he scored tied the match at 3-3.

    So why the wild celebrations?

    Well, the day had started with Schaerweijde sitting top of the ladder of the Overgangklasse, at home to Cartouche Hockey Club, who were sitting in second place. The final round of the regular season. One point separated the two teams on the ladder.

    Whoever finished top would qualify for the promotion/relegation matches and an opportunity to play in the Hoofdklasse for the 2017-18 season.

    The equation for Schaerweijde was simple enough, a draw would see them top the ladder. However, not everything went to plan.

    Cartouche produced some scintillating hockey and managed to find the back of the net three times before the end of the first half and held a solid 3-0 lead. It was all or nothing for Schaerweijde in the second half.

    Led by Australian Eli Matheson, a bronze medal winning member of the Kookaburras from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, now firmly entrenched in the Netherlands, the fightback began. Slowly Schaerweijde clawed their way back into the match.

    Trailing 2-3 inside the last minute it was Matheson who won the penultimate corner. Up stepped Canadian Olympian Tupper to equalise and send the crowd into raptures.

    Ecstasy for Schaerweijde and agony for Cartouche.

    Elsewhere Hdm defeated Zwart-Wit 1-0 to leapfrog Cartouche into second place and qualify for the playouts to gain entry into the Hoofdklasse.

    Ultimately Schaerweijde failed in their quest to earn promotion to the Hoofdklasse and for Eli Matheson and his club it will mean another season in the Overgangklasse and another attempt at promotion.