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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

EHA Cup Draws Made

SALFORD will take on Manchester University in the pick of the ties in the first round of the EHA Men’s Cup, which was drawn last week.

The pair drew 31-31 in the first week of the season back in September, and although Salford have fared better since then and are top of the Northern Section, they will not underestimate their rivals, who are fourth in the table.

Second in the North, Manchester will travel to Oxford University for their first round clash, while Southern Section leaders Great Dane will entertain Warwick University.

The first round of the Cup is on March 5-6, with the quarter finals on April 9-10, semi finals on May 14-15 and the final on June 4-5.

First round losers will go into a plate competition, with the matches on the same dates as above. In both the Cup and Plate, there will be a re-draw after each round.

Arch Rivals Drawn Apart in EHA Cup

HOLDERS Great Dane and rivals Ruislip Eagles have been drawn in opposing groups for the EHA Women’s Cup, which begins on February 5-6.

Great Dane will take on Manchester University and Olympia in their group, while the second group includes Ruislip, Deva, Cambridge and Thames.

The second set of matches is on March 5-6, and the third round is on April 9-10.

The semi finals on May 14-15 will pit the winner of each group against the runner-up from the other, with the finals on June 4-5.

The first set of matches on February 5-6 will see Great Dane play Manchester University in Group One, while in Group Two Thames play Cambridge and Deva play Ruislip.

Woodside School Crowned London Champions

WOODSIDE High School secured victory in the Boys Year 8 and 9 Handball Tournament last week, beating rivals from across London in a highly-competitive competition at Newham Leisure Centre.

Last year’s event winners Westminster looked strong, but were beaten by Woodside in the semi finals, while Carshalton saw off a good challenge from Harris School in their semi final to book their spot in the final.

But Woodside proved too strong for their rivals and took the overall victory.

London Handball Development Officer Ari Bekker said afterwards: “It was great to see the level of the competition and the standard of the handball on show, which is getting better every year.

“It’s great to see so many youngsters enjoying playing handball. Many thanks to all the teams who took part - we look forward to you coming back next year and seeing how much you have improved.”

Liverpool Tournament: Book Your Place NOW!

THE highly-popular Liverpool International Handball Festival looks set to attract another great line-up for the 2011 event on May 27-29 - and if your club wants to apply you need to act NOW!

The event is always over-subscribed, with many teams travelling over from Europe to take compete with teams from across Britain.

The men’s event will see four groups of four teams in action, while the women’s event has places for eight teams. There will also be a wheelchair handball competition.

For details of the event, please contact Peter Irving on 0151 327 1208 or at peter.irving7@ntlworld.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sweet Victory Gives Ruislip Title Hopes

LAST season’s runners up, Ruislip Eagles Women posted their intensions to take back the league title by winning a highly competitive and incident-packed match against champions Great Dane.

Ruislip started brightly but were soon rocked by an injury to influential back court player Lenka Kocisova and this interrupted their flow.

Both defences were strong and Ida Griffith was in fine form in goal for Great Dane, keeping out the Eagles attack.

At half time the Eagles had a narrow lead of just three goals, and Coach Mel Chowns was unhappy with the finishing of her squad as too many chances went begging.

Great Dane came out fighting in the second half and soon levelled the scores. Further incident happened though when Danes Anne Kandler took another hit and went off for a period - and without her influence the Eagles pulled away again and built up a five-goal lead.

But when Kandler returned Great Dane clawed back to within two goals before a two-minute suspension - thanks to the sending off of the Danes coach - eased the pressure on Eagles and they saw out the match to take the match 18 - 16.

But the match took its toll on both squads though with Kandler struggling at the final whistle and Sposi and Papenfuss for Eagles joining Kocisova with injuries.

The Eagles had to regroup for the match against Cambridge 24 hours later, and it was a very different team that lined up. Without either of their recognised goalkeepers, Kocisova bravely agreed to go in goal as she wasn't able to play on court, and without several of the players who saw off Great Dane, Ruislip had just seven players plus coach Chowns on standby if needed.

Ruislip built up a comfortable lead in the first 15 minutes but Cambridge, with some bright young British talent in their team, did not give up and kept within touching distance in the first half.

However, in the second half Ruislip stepped up the pace and pulled away with some great fast breaking from Telek and some great heroics from Kocisova in goal.

Coach Chowns got a 15-minute run, turning back the clock 10 years and even getting on the scoresheet with a shot from the left wing.

Ruislip can now head into the festive period happy with their start and looking forward to resuming battle and meeting rising team Deva.

Cambridge Boost Play-Off Hopes

CAMBRIDGE Men gave their English National League play-off hopes a shot in the arm last weekend, beating Ruislip Eagles 29-26 in a thrilling match at Moulton, Northampton.

Their victory was revenge for a two-goal defeat suffered in their first match of the season, and gave them only their second victory of the season.

Ruislip fielded a near full squad, whilst 11-man Cambridge gave a debut to 17 year-old schoolboy George-Catalin Micu.

Cambridge were the first to get into their stride, with some well-worked moves and a penalty giving them a 3-0 lead after five minutes, and they extended their lead to 10-5 half way through the first half.

Ruislip have a reputation for resilience, and a series of Cambridge misses brought the score back to 10-9, before Cambridge regrouped with a time-out. Consistently accurate top-corner shooting from distance by Zsolt Majoros allowed Cambridge to pull ahead 16-13 at half time.

The opening exchanges of the second half saw Ruislip clawing back at Cambridge, to level the match at 19-19 with just 15 minutes to go.

It remained goal for goal for a tense period of a few minutes, with both sides well-matched and having the measure of the other.

At 22-22, this season's French signings Olivier Wertheimer and Marc Briant combined to give Cambridge the decisive advantage they were to hold to the end of the game.

First Wertheimer scored a fine individual effort after engineering a gap on the right side of the Ruislip defence, then Briant followed up with a delicate lob from the left wing and a fast-break down the middle.

From 25-22, Ruislip were never able to get within two goals of Cambridge, and even a last-gasp man-to-man defence in the closing minute was unable to make an impact, with Cambridge running in the last goal to give a deserved 29-26 win.

For Cambridge, Zsolt Majoros scored eight goals and Marc Briant six. For Ruislip, Hugo Mazel scored 8 and Azzedine Messis six.

Helenswood Win Schools Tournament

HELENSWOOD School in Hastings stormed to victory in their first handball tournament, beating eight London-based teams in a Year Eight and Nine inter-Borough Competition staged recently at the Newham Leisure Centre in London.

After some highly competitive early matches which showed a good level of skill in all teams, the stage was set for a final between Helenswood and Barking Abbey School, from Barking and Dagenham.

It looked like the London side were going to take victory as they led two-nil with just four minutes remaining.

But Helenswood (pictured) battled back in style with three late goals to clinch victory and spark celebrations.

London Handball Development Officer Ari Bekker said afterwards: “The standard of handball was very high in the event, and it was great to see girls enjoying themselves - even some who didn’t have much experience.”

A similar tournament for boys was staged last weekend, and we hope to have a report in Handball News shortly.

Glasgow Remain Unbeaten

GLASGOW came out on top in the derby clash with Gracemount, winning 34-27 to give their Scottish League title hopes a boost.

The win maintained Glasgow’s 100 per cent record, and left last year’s undefeated champions Gracemount with some work to do if they are to retain their title.

Michael Groh top-scorer for Glasgow with 13 goals, while Danos Sagias added eight. For Gracemount Mounir Idir added 10 and Vincent Martinez seven, but it was not enough.

Elsewhere in the league, Tryst kept up the pressure with a 48-26 victory over Liberton to keep their 100 per cent record intact.

Tryst had to fight hard throughout the first half and were only ahead 19-14 at the break, before taking advantage of their quick wingers scoring plenty of goals from fast breaks.

James Yule scored 13 for Tryst, while Darren Fisher and Chris McManus both added seven.

Finally, East Kilbride recorded their first win of the season with a solid 40-17 win over newcomers Dumfries, with Kris Szulc scoring 14.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

E-Zine of GB visit to Limburg

A visual record of GB Women's team visit to Limburg for a preparation camp ahead of the World Championship qualification tournament in Poland.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Manchester Come out on Top in Derby Clash

MANCHESTER came out on top in their derby clash with the University of Manchester to retain their fragile lead at the top of the English Men’s League Northern Section.

Their 35-20 victory at Sugden Sports Centre in the town maintains their one-point lead over Salford, who also secured a comfortable victory to maintain their push for the title.

Eleven goals from Rybak helped Manchester do the double over the students, having led 19-10 at the break and consolidated their lead in the second half.

Georgiou scored nine goals and Girost five, and although Berezowski top-scored for the University side with five, it was not enough.

A Salford side littered with players with international experience secured a predictable 34-6 victory over Liverpool Speke Garston to maintain the pressure on Manchester.

One point behind, Salford have a game in hand and could overtake Manchester when they play that match.
Six goals each for Garthman, Woodall and Hennessy helped Salford to beat Speke Garston.

Meanwhile, third-placed Nottingham University also kept the pressure up at the top of the table with a 29-25 win over Liverpool Wolves.

With two games in hand, Nottingham University could draw level on points with Manchester if they win their games in hand, making the league even tighter.

* Great Dane maintained their table-topping form in the Southern Section with a 27-20 victory over Bath University.

Universities Challenged by Handball!

MORE than 70 handball newcomers took part in a highly-successful inaugural British Universities Beginners Tournament in Nottingham last Saturday.

There were more than 100 goals in 13 close-fought mini matches, but the newcomers weren’t limited to the court, with 11 new trainee table officials overseeing the games.

Eight goals from Beaumont helped Loughborough Arrows win the BUH Men’s Beginners Event despite being held to an exciting five-all draw by Rickie Baileys' Lincoln Blitz in their last game.

Blitz also matched the Arrows' 25-goal total over their four sixteen minute mini-matches, but fell one goal short of overall victory despite taking a 3-2 halftime lead.

Lincoln Riot beat Lincoln Blues in a weather-affected Ladies series with eight players sharing 18 goals, whilst the spirited Carnegie Alphas, Loughborough Bombers & Lincoln Abbots completed the men’s rankings.

All the matches were ably overseen by experienced delegate Colin Wills, who had earlier led 11 volunteers through their paces on a table officials course. The TOs then got their chance to put theory immediately into practice by working with five of the top EHA referees throughout the Beginners Tournament.

With the British Universities Handball Championships looming on February 19-20, the university teams still have a little time to polish up fitness and skills before vying for the BUH title and a chance to compete at the European Universities Championships in Croatia later in June.

More information on British Universities Handball is available from admin@britishuniversitieshandball.com

Cheshire Tops in Regional Champs

CHESHIRE proved dominant in the Under-16 Regional Schools Handball Championships staged last month, with both their boys and girls team securing victories at the International Futsal Centre in Birmingham.

Competition was fierce, and there was no margin for error with a league and knockout-style tournament meaning one defeat could spell the end of a team’s hopes.

But Cheshire stayed focused and secured two deserving victories.

They both remained unbeaten through the league stage, as did Bedfordshire boys.

In the boys semi-final Bedfordshire beat newcomers London Pro Active North after a nail-biting extra-time finish. And Cheshire also progressed to the final with comfortable win over Staffordshire.

As the two unbeaten teams met in the final, something had to give.

It was a high-scoring match and both teams showed a lot of promise. However, as the game drew to a close, Cheshire proved themselves to be the stronger team and eased into a 14-10 victory to secure their place as winners of the regional championships.

Meanwhile, in the girls final Cheshire and Merseyside met and again Cheshire showed their dominance and clinched a 10-6 win.

Emma Martin and Gabbi Howarth of Merseyside and Leanne Kindley of Cheshire were the 3 top scorers in the girl’s tournament, whilst Bedlow of Lancashire, Harper of Staffordshire and Tyler of Cheshire took the top three places for the boys.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

ipadio: Snow, snow, more snow and 9 hours on a bus

Slick Salford Maintain Title Tilt

THE only unbeaten team left in the Men’s English League, Salford maintained their challenge for the title with an emphatic 35-21 victory over Manchester University on Sunday.

The two sides battled out a draw earlier in the season, making third-placed Manchester university the only side to take points away from Salford this season.

But it was a different story on Sunday.

After opening up an early lead, Salford never trailed and went in at half time leading 18 - 13. But the students came out after half time determined to regain the advantage.

However, the Salford defence that proved so effective against Manchester the week before became virtually impenetrable for their rivals.

Despite their valiant efforts, they only managed to score four goals in the first 20 minutes of the half and only eight in total.

In contrast, Salford scored a further 18 goals and finished the game confident 35-21 winners.

Elsewhere, Liverpool Wolves beat Deva 29-17, while Nottingham University were 31-15 winners over Liverpool Speke Garston.

Nottingham moved up to third on the back of that victory, and with games in hand they look set to mount a good challenge for the Northern Section title.

Manchester were handed a 10-0 victory over Wirral by default after the Merseyside outfit failed to raise a side for the clash against the league leaders.

* In the Southern Section, Ruislip Eagles edged past Olympia 24-23 in a thrilling encounter on Sunday.
Ruislip took the initiative right from the start and put Olympia under pressure establishing a four-goal lead thanks to several goals from Fabien Colette.

Olympia looked shaken but stood strong, and with Toufik Haddadou's goals they reduced the gap to reach half time with only a one goal deficit 13-14.

The Eagles started the second half stronger and were ahead up to five goals with 15 minutes remaining. However a fighting Olympia team managed to come back in the game and even led by one with just four minutes remaining.

Ruislip then launched one last big effort to turn the game at their advantage and finished victorious 24-23 after endless defensive displays.

Coach Kelsall Receives National Award

JUST weeks after being named as Coach of the Year at the Cheshire West and Chester Sports Awards, handball coach Gary Kelsall (pictured, centre) received national recognition this week when he was named 2010 Children’s Coach of the Year this week.

The UK Coaching Awards were held at a glittering ceremony at The Brewery in London on Tuesday.

The award citation read: “The award is due recognition of Gary’s dedication and hard work. He is the heartbeat of handball in the Chester area.

“His work with the Deva club has led to them gaining access to the National League One for the first time. Meanwhile, he led the Tarporley Junior club to the National Schools Finals, just nine months after the club was set up.”

Among his many other achievements he has helped to increase sport participation through handball by coordinating the Chester School’s Handball Competition and working with diversity projects in Chester.

Scottish Schoolkids in Handball Action

SCHOOLS handball is taking off across the country, and this week saw two major events in Scotland.

The inaugural Secondary Schools Championships was staged at Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell, and saw a good mix of newcomers to the sport mixing it well with some schools with links to established handball clubs.

Duncanrig School in East Kilbride won both the boys and girls S1-2 categories, while Belmont School from Ayr were top in the S3-4 Boys event.

Largs won the S3-4 Girls and S5-6 Girls, while another East Kilbride school, Calderglen, came out on top in the S5-6 boys category.

“There were some very close matches throughout the day despite some of the players only recently taking up handball against some schools who have associations with local handball clubs,” said Stevie Neilson, chairman of the Scottish Handball Association.

And then later in the week there were the first matches in the Scottish Junior Cup play-offs.

East Kilbride again proved strong and came out on top in the under-12s and under-10s categories, while Livingston girls beat their East Kilbride rivals 8-5 in the deciding match of the under-14s group.

Finally, new team Ayr won all of their matches in their group, finishing with a convincing 7-2 win over Livingston.

The competition continues in February with the next round of matches.

When all games are complete, the top two teams in each group will play for the Scottish Cup on May 21 2010.