Royal Orée not up to the challenge as Leopold qualify for Europe
After their success on the wire, during the first round of the match for 3rd place but especially for the last EHL ticket, the Ucclois no longer wanted to experience the same mishap against a team from the Orée who clearly had nothing left to lose and who also dreamed of joining the European high mass next season. And they put their plan into action from the kick-off since they were already leading by 2 goals in advance after only 4 minutes thanks to Tom Boon and Max Plennevaux. Xavier De Greve’s men did not give up and attacked Romain Henet’s goal, but without creating danger. And in the 17th minute, Nicolas Poncelet pushed his opponent even further by punctuating with rage a penalty phase.
L’Orée (still without Louis Willems and Manu Stockbroekx) was not playing fairly and quickly enough to have a chance against Royal Leopold who calmly controlled the game and accelerated from time to time. After the break, the Ucclois kept control of the exchanges in a meeting that lost in intensity and interest over the minutes. However, Tomi Domene managed to save the honour from the penalty spot in the 57th minute. But it was too late… Tom Boon, from the penalty spot, then Maxime Plennevaux, punctuated the performance of Royal Leopold by scoring twice in quick succession (62nd).
A 3rd place which was a minimum to be reached for the Uccles club to qualify for Europe, as the coach Robin Geens pointed out from the outset. “This group has a lot of maturity and qualities. But to finish this season without this EHL ticket with everything we have put in place would have been a huge frustration. It was necessary to win even without the manner. However, if we had played that way against Watducks in the semifinals, we would have passed and we could have fought for the title this weekend. We didn’t want to go through the game anymore like in the first period of this Saturday’s game. The players had to trust the game plan and exploit the Orée’s offensive weaknesses. And that’s what they did very well. “
“I am very disappointed because we don’t get very far from the final either,” regretted John-John Dohmen. “But in the end, we finished 4th, with nothing. Regarding this weekend, however, we must admit that we were below the Leopold both in terms of the quality of hockey but also of the game. We did not manage to build and there was too much waste in our game We must not forget that Leo is certainly the team that knows each other the best in the Honorary Division. And it was seen on the ground. While on our side, we were in the process of construction after the many arrivals last summer. So it was already magnificent to play in the semi-finals with all these changes. We will be better next season but unfortunately, we have to go through this stage to continue to evolve. “
This large success (5-1) therefore somewhat saves the season for Robin Geens’ proteges who will therefore be able to compete again in the prestigious European competition and defend their bronze medal won last April in Amsterdam.