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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

English National League: Round-Up

EARLY leaders Salford take on Liverpool Wolves in a clash of two unbeaten teams at Greenbank Sports Academy in the Men’s National League Northern Section of Sunday.

Salford have won all four of their games so far while Liverpool have won three, but something must give this Sunday in what promises to be a close encounter.

Liverpool Wolves took on City rivals Liverpool Speke Garston last weekend and ran out 26-15 winners.

The opening 10 minutes of the first half were very intense from Speke Garston. Their deep 5-1 defence disturbed Liverpool Wolves attack. And to add to it, Liverpool Wolves defence was quiet and apathetic which lead to an early lead for Speke Garston. Their left back was on top form, scoring great goals from the nine-metre line.

Liverpool Wolves managed to slowly get back into the game. With a deep defence focused on Speke Garston left back, Liverpool Wolves got close in the score and after the attack got better, finally manage to overtake them.

From then on the goal difference just kept growing for Liverpool Wolves. Both individual actions and some good moves resulted in successful attacks, and by stopping their best attacking player, Speke Garston attack stalled.

Towards the end of the match Speke Garston cut a few more goals, due again to a loss of Liverpool Wolves' concentration.

In summary, the goal difference could have been greater had it not been for Speke Garston's goalkeeper, who did some tremendous saves throughout the match.

* Last weekend Salford took on Manchester University who, despite their strong form over the last couple of seasons, have proved to be a bogey team for Salford.

Indeed, last season the university side where the only team in the north that managed to take any points from Salford when they drew 31-31 last October.

This time round though Salford made no mistake and ran out 36-13 winners.

The side from the university were never really ever in the game, being 7-3 down after 10 minutes and 17-7 down at half time.

However, some good saves from Joe Hodgson in the University's goal did at least keep the Salford score below 40.

In the other match in the North last weekend Manchester beat Leeds Hornets 25-13.

* Oxford University ran out narrow 28-25 winners over Olympia in the opening set of matches in the Men’s National League Southern Section last weekend.

Eight goals from Abdullah Alshammari helped Oxford to victory, while Olympia’s top scorer was Christophe Hunault with seven.

Ruislip Eagles beat Cambridge 25-19 with Martin Kubisa scoring five for the Eagles.

And London GD ran out 21-31 winners over Bath, a strong second half comeback giving them the win after having been 12-11 down at the break.

In the Women’s National League, London GD beat Olympia 16-11 to get their league campaign off to a winning start.

Danish Youngsters in London Handball Experience

YOUNG handball players from Denmark came to London earlier this month, playing several games against local sides as well as visiting the Olympic Park and training with the Great Britain women’s team.

An Under-16 and Under-14 boys team from Holte IF joined in several training sessions with Newham Flames at Cumberland School on the Monday, and then joined in with the Pro Active East League at Newham Leisure Centre where they played against Woolwich Polytechnic from Greenwich and Newham Flames HC.

Schools from across East London were present to see just how skilful and fast Danish handball can be.
The following day, the Under-16s from Holte played against UCL men, while the Under-14s took on UCL’s women team. They also played against Newham Flames HC at Leyton.

Then on Thursday they went to see how the Olympic Park facilities are shaping up for the 2012 Games, before meeting with the Great Britain women’s team and going through some drills.

U16s Coach Brian Steffensen said: “It was a good experience for our boys to see that not all teams in the world have the same possibilities as us with courts and training facilities. We had a great week and enjoyed London.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winning Start for Champions Tryst

REIGNING Scottish League champions Tryst began their 2011-12 season with a victory, beating Division One newcomers Dundee 34-24.

The league has split into two Divisions with five teams competing in the First Division, while another six are in the Second Division, which is a Development League.

Other results from the first round of matches saw last season’s runners-up Glasgow beat Dundee 44-20, while Edinburgh won 38-23 over East Kilbride.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Salford Notch up Another Big Win

SALFORD notched up an emphatic 41-19 victory over Nottingham University in the third round of the English National League (North) at the Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool on Sunday.

The last time these two teams met resulted in a resounding 20-goal victory for Salford. However, after a well earned victory against Manchester University last time out, and with some additional players to bolster their squad, Nottingham could approach this game with a positive outlook.

Unfortunately, that positivity didn't last long. Salford came out of the traps like a greyhound on speed and quickly opened up a lead that did nothing but grow.

By half time Salford already had a 15-goal advantage, going in ahead 23-8.

As the second half started there was no let up for Nottingham. A succession of fast break goals from Salford's Rafik Tahraoui took the gap between the teams to 20 goals.

Nottingham did manage a bit of a mini fightback in the middle of the second period, but this couldn't be sustained and their cause was a lost one. Salford pushed on again to finish the game 22 goals to the good running out winners.

There were some notable performances for both teams. Nottingham's Mardaras (pictured) scored eight goals and Salford's Ciaran Williams 11. But, the real noticeable performance of the day was the Salford defence.

Despite scoring on average more than 30 goals per game, this is by far the strength of the team. Their ability to rapidly turn defence into attack, confidently led by their defensive commandant Matt Lee, keeps Salford as the dominant team in the North.

Elsewhere, Seven goals from Wojciech Bienias helped Leeds Hornets to a 28-18 win over Liverpool Speke Garston, while Roscoe was Speke’s top scorer with five.

Zak Dunstone scored seven for Deva, but it wasn’t enough to stop Manchester securing a 32-24 victory with Papamichael being their top-scorer with six.

And Liverpool won 31-16 against Manchester University with Carvolio hitting the net eight times.

Top Coach Receives Award

ONE of the best known coaches in English handball has been presented with a special award.

Donna Hankinson helped form the new North East Manchester Hawks Handball Club last season after a pilot project in schools around Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside.

And the club performed superbly under Donna's expert eye to win the girls U18 National Cup at Crystal Palace and finish runners up in the U18 boys final.

And her efforts were recognised when the club held its first ever presentation night and Donna was presented with the new President's Award.

The presentation was made by the club’s newly-installed first president, Royton and Crompton School headteacher Des Herlihy, who is chairman of the English Schools Handball Association.

“The Hawks have come such a long way in a short space of time, and to have had several junior internationals is testament to how hard the players work together to improve,” said Donna.

Other awards presented on the night went to:
Coach’s Player: Stefan Whaley and Ellie Whitehead.
Most Improved: Terry Ellis and Eliza Morgan.
Players’ Player: Marc Howard and Nicola Quick.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

London GD Make History in Europe

LONDON GD Handball Club – formerly known as Great Dane – became the first British team ever to reach the third round of the European Challenge Cup when they secured three narrow victories in their second round matches in Malta last weekend.

Their first game on Friday against London rivals Ruislip Eagles proved tense and ended with a one-goal win, 30-29.

This was followed by two matches over the weekend, resulting in a 29-24 win against home side Aloysians ProMinent, who had hundreds of home supporters cheering them on, and finally a 31-26 victory over Dublin International on Sunday afternoon.

The team has been training hard over the summer months and new players have integrated well with an already strong line-up.

Coach Phillipe Seray was naturally very pleased with the efforts of his team, and said: “I am very happy with the teamwork and professional attitude of our players. Bearing in mind that this was the first few games of the season, bar a few friendly games, we have done extremely well.”

London GD will meet Greek side AC Doukas in two games in late November/early December. A decision on whether both games will happen in Greece, or with a home and an away game will be made shortly.

The Greek side is likely to prove a difficult opponent; while London GD is an amateur club with a couple of training sessions a week, this is a professional team with paid players.

“It will be very tough indeed,” says Seray. “But even if we did very well this weekend, there is still room for improvement. We have to keep focusing and train very hard over the next two months and just do the best we possibly can when it comes down to it.”

* Other results saw Ruislip Eagles beat Dublin international 30-27, and Aloysians ProMinent 27-22, which left them a creditable second in the group.

And in the women’s Challenge Cup, Olympia faced strong opponents in their group in Portugal and lost out 42-18 to Croatian team RK Zelina, as well as 34-16 to Portugese side Alavarium.

EHF Executive Welcomed to England

THE development of handball in England received a major boost last week when the European Handball Federation’s Executive came to London.

The full 10 man European Executive included Tor Lian [President], Jean Brihault, [Vice President] and representatives from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Russian, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

The England Handball Association was represented by Chairman Mike Briers and four co-directors – Stephen Jones, General Secretary, who had organised the visit, Carl Norman [Competition ], Louaz Hofton [Development] and Frank Wuggenig [Marketing]

The party visited the Olympic Park and saw for the first time the splendid Handball Arena. The party then moved to the Basketball Arena, where the later stages of the Olympic Competition, including the semi finals and finals, will be staged.

“Everyone was most impressed with the excellent facilities and the EHA would like to thank Alex Gavrilovic, Olympic Handball Manager, for arranging the visit,” said Mike Briers.

The European Executive held their meeting in the Conference Facilities of the Kingsway Hall Hotel in Covent Garden on the Saturday.

Small presentations were made to the European Executive members and the EHA Chairman received a gift from Tor Lian, European President, in thanks to England for their “excellent organisation and hospitality.”

Mr Briers added: “Stephen Jones, the General Secretary, should be congratulated on his work in setting up the visit and giving members of the EHA Board the opportunity to discuss handball [and other matters!] with the European Executive Members.

“I am sure this meeting will have gone a long way to further develop and strengthen relationships between the two Executives.”