Next game

2019-12-07 17:00


Riihimäen Cocks
-
Dragunas Klaipeda

Poll

Which team will win Baltic Handball League 2020?

News / BHL Newsletter: Cocks takes great victory, other teams crash out in Europe

Baltic Handball League

2019.11.25 11:29

BHL Newsletter: Cocks takes great victory, other teams crash out in Europe

It was a week of mixed emotions for BHL clubs, especially in the European competitions. Last years BHL finalists Cocks Riihimäki, ZTR Zaporozhye and Granitas-Karys Kaunas took victories, but after the last EHF Champions League match of Cocks this Saturday, none of the nine BHL clubs who participated this season will continue in Europe.

BHL champions Cocks played their final home match against North Macedonian side HC Eurofarm Rabotnik to whom they had lost by just one goal away. It was a great fight from Cocks, who after so many injury worries had managed to get an almost full-strength squad on their feet.

Strong defending the key for Cocks

The last ten minutes started at 20:20 and it was ten minutes of excellent defending and goalkeeping, which eventually brought Cocks a 23:21 victory (Teemu Tamminen 6 goals). They followed this up on Saturday by beating Siuntio IF in the domestic league 32:21 (Nico Rönnberg 8).

"Already in the first game against Eurofarm, it was clear it will be two equal teams and who has the most luck in the end, will win," said Cocks' head coach Gintaras Savukynas on the club's website. "We defended very well. I was happy to get some injured players back and even a little surprised how well they played after missing several games."

ZTR Zaporozhye had a great start to their home match against Grundfos Tatabanya KC after Hungarian side had won the first leg 27:24. Hosts took a 5:0 lead, but then fell apart and behind 12:8. ZTR did fight until the end and won 27:26 (Andrii Akimenko 6), but lost on aggregate 53:51 and did not reach the EHF Cup group stage.

Few days earlier, ZTR had an easy match in the Ukrainian championship, when beating HC Odessa away by 35:15 (Dmytro Artemenko and Olexiy Shcherbak 6). In the domestic league, ZTR has 14 points, just as title-holder HC Motor Zaporozhye, who has one game in hand.

The other BHL team in the EHF Cup, SKA Minsk had the German giants Rhein-Neckar Löwen opposing them and lost at home by four goals. In Germany on Wednesday, the "Lions" took a clear 29:17 victory (Viachaslau Bokhan 4) and advanced to the group stage with an aggregate win of 61:45.

Celtnieks scored 104 goals in two days

In the EHF Challenge Cup, ZRHK Tenax Dobele had a three-goal disadvantage from home match, but played a great game away against the 2017/18 winners of the competition, Romanian side AHC Potaissa Turda. However, a 32:32 draw (Aivis Jurdžs and Nikita Pančenko 7) was not enough to advance to Last 16.

Granitas-Karys Kaunas played both matches in Istanbul during the weekend against HC Beykoz BLD SK and lost the first one 37:22 (Modestas Štarolis and Tadas Bučinskas 5) and the 34:29 win (Štarolis and Bučinskas 8) in the following day did not help the Lithuanian club into next round.

Tenax's domestic rival, Celtnieks Riga played two league matches in two days, but had no trouble. In fact they scored 104 goals in those days with their two Belarussian players on fire. Celtnieks beat HK Ogre 44:31 (Aliaksandr Patcykailik 11), followed by an incredible 60:30 win over MSG/LAT 2000 (Patcykailik and Aliaksei Haisa 11).

In Estonia, the domestic league returned after cup weeks with two very tight matches involving BHL clubs. Viljandi HC put up a great fight against in-form HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper away, but eventually lost 26:23 (Janar Mägi 7 – Volodymyr Maslak 9).

HC Tallinn introduced a new player in Icelandic playmaker Dadi Laxdal Gautason, but had to struggle to overcome the resistance of SK Tapa. Tallinn eventually won 33:31 (Kaspar Lees 12). Champions Serviti Põlva had an easier day in the office and beat Aruküla/Audentes by 36:25 (Sander Sarapuu 9).

On photo: Teemu Tamminen scored six goals in Cocks Riihimäki's EHF Champions League win over HC Eurofarm Rabotnik. (Photo: Helin Potter/archives).