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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.

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