The Netherlands took the laurels from the Uniphar Under-23 Five Nations tournament in Belfield with an excellent 4-1 win in Sunday’s final against India in front of a large crowd.
The two sides had drawn in the group stage in the group phase and both were unbeaten going into this decider and they played out a hugely contest.
Indeed, both sides ran up six penalty corners in the first half with the Oranje going in front in the 25th minute with a powerful low drag-flick from Belen van den Broek. It was her fifth goal of the competition and would secure her the top goalscorer prize.
Beauty Dungdung – named player of the tournament – levelled soon after from a sweet corner move, deflecting into the roof of the goal.
But the Netherlands were back in front when another corner shot rebounded off a body on the goal line, allowing Amber Brouwer to step up to score from the penalty stroke spot.
It gave the Dutch the edge going into the second half and they managed to exert far more control on the game. And when the chances came, they took them with Emma Santbrink and Sanne Hak both cashing in with next deflections to take the game out of India’s reach.
USA landed the bronze medal with an impressive 4-0 win over hosts Ireland. The Junior Green Army came out strong in the first quarter with Aoife Taaffe going close but they were unable to break through before the US took control.
They went in front in the 26th minutes from a penalty corner drag-flick from Caroline Ramsay – her fourth of the tournament – for a 1-0 half-time lead.
And the Americans produced the goods in the second half to pull away. Olivia Ben-Cole’s pin-point shot doubled the lead. Ryleigh Heck then struck twice in the final quarter to stretch the lead out to four.
In the day’s opening fixture, Ireland’s Under-18 side drew 0-0 with Ukraine in a challenge match to open the fixture.
Uniphar Under-23 Five Nations Championship – day six results
Final: Netherlands 4 (Belen van den Broek, Amber Brouwer, Emma Santbrink, Sanne Hak) India 1 (Beauty Dungdung)
Bronze match: USA 4 (Ryleigh Heck 2, C Ramsay, O Bent-Cole) Ireland 0
Challenge match: Ireland Under-18 0 Ukraine 0