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News / BHL Newsletter: Three European defeats for three teams
Baltic Handball League
BHL Newsletter: Three European defeats for three teams
In the 2018/19 season we start with a Baltic Handball League newsletter, where we will follow the actions of all our 12 clubs in domestic and international competitions to keep the followers of the league up to date between the BHL weekends or matches.
Last week was not a very good one for our teams in Europe, as all three, who were competing, suffered defeats. BHL title-holder Cocks Riihimäki is still waiting for the first win in EHF Champions League, despite playing very well. The Finnish champion had two draws and one heavy defeat prior to last week.
SKA and ZTR have work to do in the return legs of EHF Cup
On Wednesday Cocks welcomed CS Dinamo Bucuresti of Romania into the Vantaa Arena, where the Finns play their European matches. It was a tight start with just one goal in first 6,5 minutes. Cocks had a 4-goal lead in the second half, but still managed to lose 32:31 (15:17) to the Romanians. Nico Rönnberg and Teemu Tamminen were on fire, scoring 11 and 10 goals respectively.
ZTR Zaporozhye started their EHF Cup campaign with a home match against strong Swiss side Kadetten Schaffhausen. The Ukrainians were trailing most of the match and lost eventually 30:27 (16:13), but still have a fair chance to advance before the return game. Oleksii Ganchev scored 8 and Andrii Akimenko 7 goals for ZTR.
Three-time winner of BHL, SKA Minsk also started in EHF Cup on Saturday, but lost to FC Porto of Portugal away by 34:29 (18:14). Dzmitry Nikulenkau and Mikhail Zhyla scored five goals for SKA. The Belarussian club had recorded a domestic league win three days earlier, beating Kronon Grodno 39:28 (20:10) with Mikita Vailupau on target 9 times.
All Latvian and Lithuanian BHL teams claimed victories in domestic league
In the Lithuanian championships there is an interesting situation, where three BHL participants have not yet played eachother and thus all three have recorded only wins so far. Title-defender Dragunas Klaipeda beat HC Utena 42:19 (20:12) on Saturday to take their second win. Karolis Bliuvas scored 8, Laurynas Simonavičius and Arvydas Bučius added 7 goals.
VHC Šviesa Vilnius and Granitas-Karys Kaunas have already three wins each in the league and will meet eachother in EHF Challenge Cup this weekend. Last week Šviesa took a 28:12 (14:6) win over SM Dubysa Šiauliai, Valdas Drabavičius scored 7 goals. Granitas-Karys had a tighter match and beat HC Vilnius 20:18 (10:7) with Modestas Štarolis scoring 6 goals.
Latvian champion ZRHK Tenax Dobele is continuing their unbeaten run and already took their fifth win of the season, beating MSG/LAT-Hertz by 42:24 (21:9). Kristaps Krivmanis scored 12 and Nils Kreicbergs 10 goals. Tenax has 10 points with the other BHL team Celtnieks Riga having same amount, but from six matches.
Celtnieks had a two-game week, but managed to win both of them. On Wednesday they took a 38:24 (17:15) win over ASK/LSPA Riga, as Arturs Lazdinš recorded 9 and Vladislav Koshman 8 goals. On Sunday, Celtnieks was involved in a "crazy" match, beating HK Vainode 52:33 (25:13). This time Koshman scored 14 and Lazdinš 12 goals.
In Estonia, it was a domestic cup week, as curiously all four BHL teams were drawn against top division opposition. Viljandi HC beat Aruküla/Audentes 33:25 (19:12) as Sergei Rodjukov was on target 7 times and HC Tallinn defeated Coop Põlva 37:27 (19:12) with playmaker Uku-Tanel Laast scoring 8 goals. Both teams thus have a comfortable lead for the return leg.
Two biggest Estonian teams – having won 21 cup trophies out of 26 possible – had been drawn against eachother. And it was last year's BHL runner-up Serviti Põlva, who took an advantage, beating HC Kehra/Horizon Pulp&Paper away by 32:22 (16:8). Foreigners were the snipers of the night, as Ivan Telepnev scored 7 and Serhii Liubchenko 5 goals for the winners, while Andrei Vakhnovich (as well as Indrek Normak) had 6 goals for Kehra.
Photo: Celtnieks Riga was by far the most productive of BHL clubs last week, scoring 90 goals over two matches! (Photo: Celtnieks).