Railway Union’s first taste of the top tier of European hockey was a tough one, losing 7-0 to Dutch hosts Den Bosch in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.
It is the first time an Irish club have competed in this elevated level of competition and the Sandymount side knew all about it, conceding twice in the first three minutes to Olympic gold medalist Lidewij Welten and Vera Vorstenbosch for a side that have won an incredible 13 of the last 14 titles.
Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon, though, did cause the Dutch side some problems, both going close in the first quarter in spite of a further goal for Vorstenbosch in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Railway’s attacking intentions curtailed but did not concede further to frustrate the Dutch side. Remarkably, they did not give Dutch captain Maartje Paumen a single penalty corner chance and had the only set piece themselves but could not pull the trigger.
In the second half, Den Bosch came out of the traps quickly and put massive pressure on and, with some sublime passing, scored via Maartje Krekelaar in the 39th minute. Goals from Marloes Keetels and Frederique Matla pushed to score to 6-0 before Emile Mol converted at the death.
Next up they play Germany’s Berliner in the fifth to eighth playoffs, tipping off at 4pm (Irish time) on Saturday while Azerbaijan’s Atasport and Reading contest the other game in this section of the competition.
Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Cup, quarter-finals: Railway Union 0 Den Bosch 7 (V Vorstenbosch 2, L Welten, M Krekelaar, M Keetels F Matla, E Mol); Amsterdam 9 Atasport 0; Reading 1 Uhlenhorster 1, Uhlenhorster win 3-2 on penalties; Berliner HC 0 Real Sociedad de Futbol 1
5th-8th place playoffs (Saturday): Atasport vs Reading, 2.30pm; Berliner vs Railway Union, 5pm