Mixed results at friendlies over the weekend

Due to the postponement of the EHA Cup match between Cambridge and Warrington, last weekend saw Cambridge Handball Club’s junior boys and girls, and senior men’s development teams play friendly matches in the Copper Box.

The action was started off with our U18 team which played for the very first time against an U18 competition, having previously only participated in U16 county competition. Their more experienced opponent Hackney GD had little difficulty in scoring against our physically outmatched team and the match ended 2-28, but our boys got their first taste of what handball is really like. This match was followed by our girls U18 team taking on Olympia HC and unfortunately some great play our girls ran out 11-14 losers. The final junior match was our boys U18 playing against the Olympia juniors and this time they could build on their first experience and managed to score 7 goals to the 22 of Olympia. Overall while the junior teams did not win, we saw some good handball and great improvements even within the day! These matches were followed by the 2nd men’s team taking on Olympia’s 2nd team.

The senior men’s development team were short on numbers this weekend – partly due to the varsity handball fixture taking place the following day. Missing a goalkeeper, and with only one substitute, a core of players took to the court – with Olympia lending Cambridge a goalkeeper. Nonetheless, the match was strong from the outset, as both teams skirmished forwards, exchanging goals. Olympia took advantage of Cambridge’s reduced lineup, scoring several early goals on the fast-break. However, Cambridge soon reacted to this, reducing the damage in defence whilst continuing well-formed attacks. Cambridge, too, demonstrated some lesser-used set plays to good effect: something that has been developed throughout the season in training sessions.

Cambridge 2nds, who have yet to win in the league this season, were uncharacteristically patient in attack, meaning the chances they were able to take were rewarded with goals more often – many of these coming from centre player Nicolas Martin.  They entered half time with a 7 goal lead, and never really looked like conceding it: the defence remained strong throughout, nullifying potential threats from Olympia’s back-court players and not allowing their wings the space needed to get a good effort on goal. Credit, too, should be given to the Olympia’s loan goalkeepers, who also did well to keep Cambridge’s goal safe. Cambridge took the tie 29-14, with all players tired, but pleased with what had been a thoroughly convincing win. They will take confidence into their next league match, which sees them face Ruislip on April 1st.