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News / BHL Newsletter: SKA and Cocks shared points in Minsk

Baltic Handball League

2020.02.17 11:34

BHL Newsletter: SKA and Cocks shared points in Minsk

Another one of the postponed matches was held last Friday before this weekend will see the finish of the regular season. In Minsk two teams met, that have shared last seven BHL titles. This time they shared points, as SKA and Cocks Riihimäki produced an exciting match, which ended in a 27:27 draw.

A week earlier, SKA had beaten Cocks away 30:22 and in Minsk the Belarussian side had a near perfect start. Inside six minutes the team took a 6:0 lead, the visitors then slowly, but surely begun to cut the deficit. By 27th minute it was just one goal and with the first goal of the second half Saša Puljizovic put Cocks ahead 15:14.

The match was very tight and even nervous since then. SKA managed to take a two-goal lead 25:23 after Ivan Brouka's penalty throw in the 52nd minute, but Cocks fought back and with 40 seconds to go, Teemu Tamminen scored to make it 27:26 for Finnish side. However, Dzmitry Nikulenkau equalized with just seconds before the final whistle. Yulyan Hiryk scored six goals for SKA, while Tamminen equalled season's top score with 12 goals.

The Group A league table was seriously changed after Ukrainian side ZTR Zaporozhye announced their withdrawal from BHL. Last week the BHL Board decided that all ZTR's previous and future matches will be awarded by forfeit (10:0) to their opponents. ZTR thus dropped to sixth place and SKA is the new leader before the final weekend with ZRHK Tenax Dobele one and Cocks two points behind.

BHL title-holder Cocks just finished another regular season last week, as in Finland eight teams were now divided to two groups of four. Cocks beat Siuntio IF 29:21 (Tamminen 7 goals) in the final match and finished third, just behind Dicken Helsinki and BK-46 Karjaa.

Before hosting BHL match against Cocks, SKA Minsk took a win in the Belarus league, defeating BGUFK-SKA Minsk 39:25 (Mikalai Aliokhin 13). SKA is two points behind league leaders HC Meshkov Brest, but the champions have one game in hand.

BHL-derbies were played in neighbouring Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, Tenax managed to beat Celtnieks Riga 33:24 (Maris Veršakovs 8 – Aliaksei Haisa 9) and are now one point behind their main opponent in the play-off group, but have also just played one game compared to Celtnieks' two.

In Estonia, Serviti Põlva took a clear win over Viljandi HC by 30:19 (Stanislav Kholodiuk 6 – Kristo Järve 4), while HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper needed a goal in the final seconds by Vladyslav Naumenko to beat HC Tallinn 25:24 (Naumenko 6 – Kaspar Lees 5).

Lithuanian league saw Dragunas Klaipeda beat HC Vilnius 36:33 (Žanas Gabrielius Virbauskas 9) and VHC Šviesa Vilnius defeat RK Kauno Ažuolas-KTU 38:33 (Karolis Antanavičius 8), but Granitas-Karys Kaunas recorded an away loss to Varsa-Stronglasas Alytus by 31:28 (Tadas Bučinskas 7).

On photo: Teemu Tamminen of Cocks Riihimäki equalled this season's best individual score with 12 goals against SKA Minsk. (Photo: Helin Potter/BHL archive).