LONDON GD were crowned EHA Cup champions after beating arch rivals Salford 28-18 in the final at Bethnal Green on Sunday.
The last time these two teams met, Salford caused upset in the London GD camp by beating them with two goals, a victory that meant they won the play offs and the national league.
Goals from Philip Altong, Jordi Ferrer-Torras, Krisztian Ölschleger and Remus Bugariu, coupled with saves from goalkeeper Theo Bougouin and a tough defence saw London GD pull ahead. Two quick goals from Ferrer-Torras and a fastbreak goal from Ölschleger and London GD was up 10-5.
Salford seemed to grow increasingly frustrated, missing several chances and not being able to penetrate the strong London GD defence.
London GD made some changes at the first time out, Cesc Salvado came on and quickly scored three goals putting London GD further ahead. At half time, the score was 14-8.
London GD took charge from the beginning of the second half and quickly scored three goals while Salford only managed one. Despite being down several goals, Salford had not given up, and the London GD attacks were met with tough defending. Their right wing, Ste Clarke, the game’s top scorer, got a few quick goals in behind the London GD goalkeeper early in the second half.
Hope was quickly fading for the Salford fans though, as London GD kept scoring and after a textbook attack, finished with a goal from Israel Manchi, London GD was up by 21 to 12.
Salford changed their defence play briefly, taking Altong out of the game, but this only left more room for the rest of the team to score.
Salford goals from Clarke and Jake Williams in the final minutes meant little as London GD had dominated the game since the second part of the first half. The final score was London GD 28 Salford 18.
The game’s top scorer was Ste Clarke from Salford with seven goals, while Cesc Salvado was the top scorer for the London team with six.
London GD will now start preparing to play in Europe, in the European Handball Federation’s EHF Cup starting this autumn.
* Photos by Harald Haugan