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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Season Heading for Thrilling Finale

Yet again the top level of English Handball looks set to produce a thrilling climax to the season - starting with this Sunday. Richard Browne reports.

The final round of the English Men’s National League play-offs take place at Leyton SCORE Centre in London from 12-6, and while four teams are battling for the three European places some clubs will be hoping for an upturn in their fortunes after last week’s Cup semi finals.

Despite five goals from GB men’s captain Ciaran Williams, Salford were unable to overcome league leaders Great Dane, who triumphed 22-20 in a thrilling game.

Current cup holders Ruislip Eagles won away at Manchester 25-19 in the other semi to set up an all London final. That match will see one of the sides battling to do the double, with Ruislip and Great Dane also battling against each other fiercely at the top of the league.

The two sides go into the final league games of the season neck and neck. Although Great Dane currently hold a goal difference advantage of 13, Ruislip can anticipate a big points tally in the day’s midday start against Nottingham University, who they thrashed 42-17 in April.

With Salford looking to avenge their cup defeat, the result of their fixture against Great Dane in the day’s 4pm kick off will probably decide not only the title but also the European placings.

With only the top three going into the European Cup, a win for Olympia in their 2pm game with Manchester would pile the pressure onto Salford to prevent it being an all-London top three.

With the European places, the title, and local pride all at stake, this coming Sunday at Leyton promises to be an event not to be missed.

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