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News / BHL Newsletter: Cocks and Serviti retain domestic titles

Baltic Handball League

2019.05.27 12:01

BHL Newsletter: Cocks and Serviti retain domestic titles

The domestic seasons in the six countries, represented in the Baltic Handball League has come to an end. Last week brought yet another league title for Cocks Riihimäki and Serviti Põlva, while SKA Minsk and ZTR Zaporozhye finished second in the league and the latter also lost the Ukrainian Cup final.

In Finland, the final series went all the way to the fifth match, as Dicken Helsinki defeated Cocks on Wednesday by 23:21 (Bojan Zupanjac 6 goals). On Saturday, in front of their home crowd, Cocks secured the seventh consecutive title in a low-scoring match by winning 19:17 (Teemu Tamminen and Andrei Novoselov 4).

"I am very proud and appreciative for the attitude this team has shown. This was our 70th game this season and the schedule has at times been very tight. And despite this, the team has been fighting well the whole season," commented Gintaras Savukynas, the head coach of Cocks, who won the Finnish league-and-cup double and Baltic Handball League this season, while also making an impressive debut in the EHF Champions League.

In Estonia, Serviti Põlva went to Wednesday's third match of the final series with a 2-0 lead over HC Tallinn and took a comfortable 30:16 win (Henri Sillaste 6 – Enrico Anton 7), thus securing a historic fifth in-a-row and overall 14th league title. Tallinn also made history by taking club's first ever medal in the Estonian championships.

"Until the end of January, this season was very tough for us. We lost many players through injuries and only then we found our game, plus returned playmaker Anatoli Chezlov to our team. In the second half of the season we showed some impressive handball, especially in defence," enjoyed Serviti's head coach Kalmer Musting the end of the season.

Estonian bronze-medals were secured by HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper, who beat Coop Põlva 32:19 in the decisive third match. The All Stars of the Estonian league came entirely from BHL teams: Eston Varusk, Kristjan Muuga, Alfred Timmo (all Serviti), Kaspar Lees (Kehra), Sergei Glinka and Markus Viitkar (both Tallinn) were joined by the top scorer of the league Tõnis Kase (Coop), who in BHL also represented Serviti.

SKA Minsk had two more matches to play in the final week after their Cup win. They beat Kronon Grodno 32:28 (Uladzislau Kryvenka 9) and then lost to champions HC Meshkov Brest 22:31 (Viachaslau Bokhan 6), finishing with silver-medals behind Meshkov. Line-player Bokhan and left-winger Ivan Brouka were selected to Belarus league All Stars.

In Ukraine, the season ended with a domestic cup Final Four, where BHL runner-up ZTR Zaporozhye beat Donbass Donetsk region 29:20 (Andrii Akimenko 7) in the semi-final, but lost to HC Motor Zaporozhye 21:30 (Oleksandr Tilte 7) in the decisive match. It was a fifth consecutive Ukrainian Cup final with the same two teams and the same end result.

The weekend was also supposed to bring Latvian Cup's Final Four, but shockingly SK Latgols Ludza refused to participate and Latvian Handball Federation's Council decided to cancel the entire tournament for this season!

On photo: Cocks Riihimäki finished their already impressive season with seventh consecutive Finnish league. (Photo: Cocks).