Trainings and matches are restarting

After 2 lazy weeks without handball, it’s time to get back on court! Trainings are restarting on the 6th and 7th of January (junior followed by development training on Wednesday and team training on Thursday) and matches are following shortly after, with the women’s match taking on Fulham Hawks and the 2nd men’s team Newham Flames on the 9.1 and 10.1 respectively. Both teams are hoping to return to their winning ways after suffering defeats in their last matches in 2015. Only one week later, we will have a triple header home match day in the Olympic Copper Box, with the women’s team first taking on the all-hungarian London Angels, followed by the 1st men’s team hosting the Leeds Hornets and finishing with the first ever outing of our junior girls section, playing a couple of friendly matches against Ipswich and Brighton!


Win over top of the table for 1st team

Our men’s teams had their last matches of 2015 in the Copper Box this Sunday, with the first team facing the top of the table London GD and the 2nd team playing Islington HC. The first team managed to pull of a surprise win against London GD, keeping the league table extremely close. The top 5 team are all within 3 points of each other, and Cambridge HC is only trailing by another couple of points as we have played one match less, with our game against Leeds being postponed until April.

Unfortunately, the 2nd team did not manage to duplicate the 1st team’s success and lost to a strong Islington HC. This leaves our 2nd team in the middle of the table and we are hoping to get back to our winning ways when the games get under way again in January.

Fulham Hawks HC vs Cambridge HC

Cambridge HC vs Newham Flames HC

Cambridge HC vs Leeds Hornets HC




Defeat against Warrington despite good performance

Our first men’s team were travelling to Manchester for the 2nd time this season, this time to take on Warrington Wolves HC last Saturday. Playing in the Trafford Soccerdome, the team started very strongly, with an agile, aggressive 5-1 defence that kept the backcourt shooters of Warrington well in check. Both their experienced GB-Olympian Chris McDermott and their fast young players struggled with our defence, allowing Cambridge to open up an early lead. 20 minutes into the game, Cambridge was leading by 4 goals, but the energy-consuming defence took its toll and Cambridge couldn’t quite keep up the momentum, leading to some more goals now from the Wolves. They managed to close the gap by half time, and the teams went into a break at an even 16-16. Cambridge pledged to come out strong, but failed to deliver and an unfocused performance in the first 5-10 minutes of the 2nd half cost the team dearly, falling behind by 4 goals, not scoring for 5 minutes. Unprovoked mistakes started to creep in, and easy chances for scoring were missed, while the Wolves managed to capitalise more from our mistakes. The team rallied and managed to stop the gap from growing, but failed to narrow the margin by repeatedly missing good goal scoring chances and conceding unnecessary 2minute suspensions. The last 10 minutes of the game, Cambridge stepped up their game once more to put Warrington under pressure, trying to close down the gap once more. This was partially successful, with the hosts now acting noticeably more nervously, allowing Cambridge to gain chances again but unfortunately the conversion rate was not sufficient and Cambridge never managed to close the gap to more than 2 goals. In the end, the man-on-man defence created more shooting chances for Warrington and they managed to run out winners 33-28 in a very physical and hard fought match.

Although this means for Cambridge another defeat, the attitude and defence that was demonstrated throughout the vast majority of the game was admirable. Now it remains to cut out the 10 minutes (end of 1st half, beginning of 2nd half) that ultimately lost us the game, and remain focussed for 60minutes of the game! Our final Super8 match before Christmas is against London GD, who are currently top of the tables. However, last weekend saw their first defeat against Ruislip HC, so with a strong team performance, we know that it is possible to beat them.

Meanwhile, the coming weekend is match free for all of our teams, so we have arranged for some friendly matches for both our men’s and women’s teams against Norwich on Sunday, 6.12 between 12-4pm at Chesterton Community Sport Centre.

Next week we are back to league action with the first men’s team playing London GD, followed by the 2nd men’s team playing Islington HC (both in the Copper Box).

London GD vs Cambridge HC

Islington HC vs Cambridge HC

Mixed results for men’s team and Cup draw

This weekend saw both men’s teams in action again. Both the first team and the second team were hoping to recover from the defeats from last weekend.

The 2nd team took on Thames HC and started the match well, keeping the score close. At half time, Thames was leading by 2 goals but the team felt that with more focus this game can be won. Cambridge started well into the second half, and with 10 minutes played, the score was even at 15:15. However, at this point the focus of the team was lost, and Cambridge started to give away easy balls in attack. Bad passes, dropped balls and hectic play in general saw Cambridge concede 5 quick goals in a few minutes and the team never recovered from this setback. This momentary lapse in attention cost the team the points and left the team frustrated after a match that could have been ours.

The 1st team was keen to get back to winning after having lost against Ruislip last week. This weeks opponent was the newly promoted NEM Hawks, the 3rd team from the Manchester region in the S8 league, consisting of mainly young British players. A report of the match can be found here. In the end, Cambridge held on to the points after a tense match.


This Monday, the Cup draw was made and our Cambridge men’s team is paired against Manchester HC in the 2nd round after both teams getting a BYE for the first. The match is to be played on the weekend of the 23/24.1.2016 with Manchester hosting the game.

Bad weekend for the teams

The last weekend saw all 3 teams in action on Sunday, and unfortunately all 3 teams lost! While this is obviously not the results we were hoping for, not everything was bad.

The 2nd team was playing the strong newly formed Angels team, consisting only of Hungarian players with previous handball experience. Unlike our players where some are post Olympic recruits trained up solely by us, the club ethos of the London Angels only allows Hungarian players with experience at a higher level of handball to join their teams. Our cheerful mix of nationalities did a very good job against these “veterans” keeping the game close for the majority of the time, only allowing a gap to form in a mad 10 minutes in the second half. Our youngsters Mikkel and Humod stood out in the quad, causing trouble for the opponents by breaking through their defence repeatedly and while we presented them with a well organised defence on our side. Even though in the end Angels managed to edge ahead and take the victory, the overall performance of the team was very encouraging and we should be able to use the gained experience in the coming matches.

The match of our 1st men’s team was a different issue. As the final score of 34-38 shows, this was not a very defensive game. While we managed to score over 30 goals due to Ruislip defending 1-1 on one of our back players (initally Zsolt and when he moved away others), we couldn’t capitalise on the easy goals as the defence let the team down time and again. Ruislip was allowed to score at will from the 9m, and an admittedly on form Ruislip backcourt took advantage of this. The defence was too sluggish, neither interrupting the movement/shots, nor providing blocks to aid the goalkeeper. The only positive to be taken from this game is that despite being back by 9 goals at a time, the team never gave up and managed to keep the game exciting to the end by closing down the gap to just 2 goals with 2 minutes to go.

While the men’s team were playing in London, the women’s team travelled to Oxford to take on “the other place”. The lack of cars already meant a difficult travel for the team, with players having to brave the 42 roundabouts in a 3.5h bus trip before arriving in Oxford. The team had to play against Oxford without the guidance of a coach and missing Grete and Agi from the back-court, but with new recruits Vanessa and Sarah. Unfortunately despite their best efforts, the Cambridge girls couldn’t control the strong Oxford back players and lost the game 23-31.


Overall these were not the results we were hoping for, but the teams soon have the chance to return to our winning ways. Both men’s teams are competing again in home matches (in London, Sporthouse) on Saturday, while the women’s team will have to wait until after Christmas before they face their next opponents, this time the 2nd team of London Angels…yes, the Hungarians again…


Cambridge HC vs Thames HC

Cambridge HC vs NEM Hawks

Cambridge HC vs London Angels HC



First win for the Super8 team!

This Sunday our 1st men’s team recorded our first win of the season against Manchester HC. After an early morning and misty drive up to Manchester HC, our men took on Manchester in the National Cycling Centre. Not distracted by the GB team training around us, the team managed to start the game focussed and new wing player Tom opened the scoring for our side. We were caught out by a couple of fast breaks and good passes to the line which meant Manchester took the early lead to 2:1, 3:2 and and 4:3, but after equalising at 4:4 Cambridge started to pull away. By half time, Cambridge established a 5 goal lead at 13:18.

After the break Manchester came back fighting, but only managed to close the gap to 3 goals before Cambridge gained control again. In the end the match ended 24:34 for Cambridge, with most players making a mark on the scoresheet.

Now we are hoping to build on this win in the next weeks, when we take on Ruislip and NEM Hawks in “home” matches in London.

The coming weekend will be a busy one for the club, with both men’s teams and the women’s team competing in their leagues on Sunday:

Cambridge HC vs London Angels HC

Cambridge HC vs Ruislip Eagles HC

Oxford University HC vs Cambridge HC


Mixed results from the weekend

With the women’s team playing their third match of the season in the regional development league and the men’s 1st team finally starting their Super8 campaign, there was again plenty of action this weekend for the club.

The women’s team played on Saturday, hosting our opponents from Islington in our chilly “home” venue at Leyton, London. Clearly, our opponents had studied our previous match sheets, as they took Grete 1-1 from the first whistle and tried to prevent her from adding to her 20 goals from 2 matches… They were partially successful in this approach, limiting her goals to “only” 6 this match, however, Niki picked up the slack and scored 8. While Cambridge won the match 18-13 with a comfortable 5 goal lead, it highlighted the need to practise attacking when a player is taken out 1-1. On the other hand, the defence was working together well, delivering helps when needed and supported by our strong goalie Pippa, who also did well on the field in the last few minutes of the game. This means the girls maintain their position on top of the London RDL League table, with 3 wins out of 3 and a goal difference of 29 goals!

Our Super 8 men’s team saw their first match of the season after having postponed the first 2 matches due to unavailability of the opponents. This meant that Cambridge HC took on Olympia HC, who had already kicked off their season to a very successful start. Olympia already won against Ruislip in their opening match and had gained a draw against Warrington Wolves, so we knew we were facing a tough opponent. The match dominated by two strong, physical defences and it showed in the low score. At half time, Olympia was leading 9-7 and despite an outstanding performance by our goalkeeper Graham Jack, who must have had an over 50% save rate, our attack could not capitalise on our strong defence. Even though having Zsolt taken out in a 1-1 defence opened up the spaced for the wing players, which Tom and Pedro exploited from the left and Toby and Thibaut from the right, too many efforts were made over the centre block and never reached their target. Only Pepe managed to find some gaps and hit the target with some consistency, scoring 4 goals. Some one sided refereeing also saw no penalties given to our side, while Olympia received several, only for Graham to save 3 of them! Overall, the game finished in a rather disappointing 19-16 from our perspective. While this is not the result we were hoping for, our good defensive performance was encouraging and if we can carry that forward to our next games with a slightly more structured attack, we should be back on the winning track soon.


Club in the local news

Even though this weekend was match free, there have been a couple of articles in the news, summarising the first few matches in the development league and highlighting the issue of not having a home venue in Cambridge. This lack of a home court poses a serious problem for the club, meaning we have to travel to London even for our home matches. This makes supporting the teams, providing officials and even just attending games more difficult and expensive for everyone involved. Unfortunately very few venues are the right size here in Cambridgeshire to accommodate a full sized court.

2 wins against Brighton

Second matchday with the women’s team and the 2nd men’s team taking on Brighton and 2 more wins for Cambridge! The season continues well after 2 strong performances by both of our teams. First the women’s team took on Brighton Hawks and ended winning 10-23, followed by the 2nd men’s team that wasn’t to be outdone and won 23-35. Results, statistics and photos can be found on the match pages. Well done to everybody who played.

The coming weekend is match-free as the English teams are taking on their European opponents in the Challenge Cup, but we are back with 2 games the following weekend.

Saturday the Cambridge women’s team is hoping to continue their winning streak against Islington, while Sunday the 1st men’s team kicks off their season against Olympia HC who has been showing 2 strong performances this season so far, beating Ruislip HC and drawing against Warrington Wolves. Both matches will be played in London.


Cambridge HC vs Islington HC

Olympia HC vs Cambridge HC