The Netherlands seemed to be heading home with the trophy after Caia Van Maasakker converted penalty corners in the 40th and 43rd minutes to give the Dutch a two goal lead at the end of the third quarter.
England wouldn’t give up and responded with two penalty corner conversions of their own in the fourth quarter.
Former Surbiton player, Sophie Bray, now with East Grinstead, pulled one back in the 52nd minute, before the University of Birmingham’s Lily Owsley equalised two minutes later.
Having pulled level, the momentum swung towards England when they led 3-0 in the shootout through Reading’s Helen Richardson-Walsh and Alex Danson and Bray.
Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch had denied Willemijn Bos and Lidewij Welten before Ellen Hoog reduced the deficit to 3-1.
When Surbiton’s Georgie Twigg failed to score from England’s fourth shuffle, the momentum threatened to swing back towards the Netherlands, but Hinch saved from Eva De Goede to give England their first European title since 1991 in Brussels.
England lift the Unibet EuroHockey Championship Trophy at Lee Valley. Photo: Chris Lee.
Surbiton’s Hollie Webb was in England’s starting line-up, with Twigg coming on in the fifth minute, and Giselle Ansley entering the pitch in the eighth minute.
Twigg described the feeling of being a European Champion as “simply unbelievable, it’s surreal and it’s not sunk in yet!”
Twigg explained England’s ability to come back from two goals down as “We dug in for the moment and when we scored we just dug in even further.”
Surbiton’s Hollie Webb, Georgie Twigg and Giselle Ansley proudly display their EuroHockey Championship Gold Medals. Photo: Tim Reder Photography.
Danson was the Woman of the Tournament, whilst Van Maasakker finished the tournament as top scorer with five goals.
Germany’s Yvonne Frank was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.