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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

European Dream Ends for London GD

Following a historic win in round 2 of the European Challenge Cup, London GD’s men’s team went to Athens last weekend for their two round 3 matches against Greek side AC Doukas.

Games are normally played in home and away legs, but due to a lack of suitable halls in London as well as financial constraints, London GD opted to play both games in the Greek capital.

The team became the first UK handball team to ever make it through this far in a European Cup Competition when they won their round 2 group earlier this autumn, and were prepared for two hard games in Athens. In the end, AC Doukas proved too strong, the first game on Saturday ended with a 30-20 defeat, followed by a 36-15 defeat on Sunday.

“It was always going to be two very tough games,” said London GD chairman and player Remi Bugariu. “We are an amateur club with two trainings a week, and we were up against professional, paid players who train nearly every day.”

The chairman is very happy and proud of his team though. “We came here to do our best, and I think we did a good job,” he says. “We showed great team spirit throughout, we never gave up and fought until the end. Going to half time only three goals down in the first game was quite an achievement and testament to the team’s hard work and fighting spirit.”

With the European dream over for this year, the team will now be concentrating 100% on the domestic league and the British Cup in the spring. The club has set themselves a target of winning both league and cup titles for both men and women’s 1st division teams this season, and are aiming for European Cup participation again next season.

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