Arriving at Ahoy we had plenty of time, heading for lunch at the Primart mall opposite the stadium, which also enabled some extra shopping from those who are so inclined.
Three matches made up the business of Dutch korfball’s biggest day. First was the A1 final, for under 19 players: Deetos v Fortuna. While the stands were filling up, the seating reserved for the clubs in the final and third place play-off match remained largely empty at this stage. Deetos made a good start, then Fortuna, playing more of a dynamic style, came back strongly. In the second half Fortuna extended the two goal lead they had built at half time, before easing off slightly, although never enough to allow Deetos back into the game. Final score: 21-17 (?), Fortuna Jeugd Kampion 2015.
As the Ahoy filled up, particularly with supporters wearing blue and white, or black, blue and yellow, the second game saw Blauw-wit play Koog-Zaal. Blauw-wit’s star Gerald van Dijk was on better shooting form than he had been on Tuesday night, when we watched their loss to TOP in Amsterdam, but it still wasn’t enough and KZ won more comfortably than Blauw-wit’s late recovery to bring the score line to 25-24 suggested.
As the razzmatazz reached a crescendo, PKC met TOP in the final. This was a sensational match, first at the beginning when goals came in an avalanche, averaging one every 30 seconds for the first seven or eight minutes, then at the end, when PKC, which had been behind for most of the game, scored a winner with just four seconds remaining on the clock. In between the game was tense, though the players largely misplaced their shooting accuracy and the scoreboard slowed to crawl, so it was less of a spectacle than the first few minutes had suggested.
Experiencing the atmosphere, particularly in the final with the TOP supporters and their brass band trying to drown out the PKC supporters, both sets dressed in their appropriate colours and chanting their lungs out, made it a day to remember.
Sunday morning we have an early start and a long haul home.