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BHL Newsletter: Tenax continues impressive domestic run
Last week was busy for BHL clubs in three Baltic States and Finland, while SKA Minsk and ZTR Zaporozhye enjoyed a week off after their tough travelling and playing schedule during last BHL weekend. BHL-derby took place in Lithuania, VHC Šviesa achieved a great EHF Challenge Cup win and ZRHK Tenax Dobele continues impressively in Latvian league.
Defending champion Tenax took yet another domestic win with large margin, as they beat HK Vainode away 47:28 (26:13). Antons Šuleiko scored 10 goals and Tenax extended their run to ten wins out of ten games. Very impressive is that Tenax has scored 375 goals during this run and it is easy to figure out the average goals per game.
Three BHL clubs in Estonian Cup's Final Four
The other Latvian BHL-team, Celtnieks Riga had to settle to a 28:28 (16:13) draw away against Jurmalas Sports with Vladislav Koshman scoring 11 goals. Celtnieks is currently second in the Latvian league, three points behind Tenax and having played one game more.
In Estonia, it was a cup week with second legs of the quarter-finals being played. All three BHL teams still in contention qualified for the Final Four. Cup-holder Serviti Põlva defeated Viljandi Spordikool 43:21 (24:11), Hendrik Varul, Stanislav Kholodiuk and Henri Hiiend all scoring eight times. Serviti's advantage over two legs was 48 goals!
Viljandi HC was the only one, who had to fight hard to qualify, as they had only three-goal advantage from the first leg against HC Viimsi/Tööriistamarket. Last season's cup-finalist managed to win the second leg by 24:23 (12:12), thus qualifying to semi-finals. Belarussian Sergei Rodjukov scored 7 goals for the winners.
HC Tallinn also took a second win over second division side Tartu Ülikool, 42:27 (18:13) with Sergei Glinka recording 9 goals. They were just one short of 100 goals and defeated their opponent by 51 goals over two legs! The semi-final pairings for the Final Four, taking place in first days of December are Tallinn – Viljandi and Põlva/Arcwood – Serviti.
Šviesa defeated Norwegian club by twelve goals
VHC Šviesa Vilnius is having an excellent international season, but at home they lost the BHL-derby against Granitas-Karys Kaunas by 24:26 (8:13). Granitas' left-back Paulius Šarkauskas was yet again in incredible form, scoring 15 times, while Tomas Bernatavičius recorded 6 goals for Šviesa.
Lithuanian champion Dragunas Klaipeda suffered a shock defeat, playing away against RK Kauno ažuolas-KTU and losing 26:34 (12:19). Karolis Bliuvas scored 7 goals for Dragunas, whose unbeaten record was broken.
Granitas has maximum 12 points, Dragunas 10, Šviesa 7 and Kauno ažuolas-KTU 6. Top of the scoring charts is filled with BHL players, as Šarkauskas leads with 50 goals, followed by two Šviesa-players, Karolis Antanavičius and Valdas Drabavičius with 45.
Šviesa – who is leading Group B of BHL with a perfect record of three wins out of three – took an impressive win on Saturday. They defeated Norwegian side Bodø HK at home by 35:23 (16:11) in the EHF Challenge Cup and are very close of qualifying to the last 16. Drabavičius scored 11 goals for the winners.
After recording a historic first EHF Champions League win over Wacker Thun during the BHL weekend, Cocks Riihimäki lost on Saturday away to a strong Spanish club Abanca Ademar Leon by 20:23 (11:14). Sharing the top scorer position of the Champions League with Alex Dujshebaev of PGE Vive Kielce, Nico Rönnberg scored 7 goals. In midweek, Cocks beat HC Hangö IK in Finnish league 31:20 (16:13) and Andre Udd was the top scorer with 8.
On photo: ZRHK Tenax Dobele (in red) is having a great domestic run, while VHC Šviesa Vilnius (in blue) enjoys international success. (Photo: VHC Šviesa).