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. 

Not the best start to the year…

It was the first game of the calendar year for all three of Cambridge handball’s senior clubs, and all three were keen to see it off to a winning start against their opponents, London GD, in London’s Copper Box Arena. Cambridge Men’s II team opened proceedings; in September’s reverse fixture, Cambridge seconds had equalised with virtually the last throw of the game, but were hoping to win this one. The team fielded an attack-minded 5-1 defensive formation, but were unable to disrupt the GD attack, who led by 3 goals, ten minutes in. Cambridge, however, remained calm and played the ball around, which eventually began to pay dividends, with half-backs and line players leading the scoring into the half-time break, with Cambridge leading by one, Ill-discipline and some wayward shooting, however, meant that Cambridge were never able to pull into a convincing lead over GD, and with minutes to go, the teams were level. GD would go on to win the tie by three, a tie that Cambridge should have put to bed much earlier in the game.

The men’s first team followed shortly – in previous years, London GD had always been Super 8 title contenders, and as ever this was to be a hard-fought match. The opening six minutes of the tie were tight, with Cambridge not conceding a goal, and scoring a couple of their own. The tie then opened up, with both teams trading goals, but with Cambridge maintaining a lead throughout. GD fought hard for a comeback, as Cambridge failed to nullify a dynamic GD attack, and with a minute to go, conceded to draw the match level. As play restarted, Cambridge agonisingly hit the post, and so the match finished a draw. Before the match, Cambridge would have wanted a win from this tie, and were certainly disappointed to have not taken points from a game which they led for large parts of.

Finally, the Women’s team took to the field. Cambridge had now been in the top-level Super 7 league for half a season and had an appreciation of the ability of the teams they faced. London GD showed their aptitude from the outset, with a particularly strong left-wing. Not to be outdone, Cambridge attacked well with several fast-break attacks, and goals from the pivot-position. Cambridge went into half-time 5 goals down, but certainly not out of the tie. However, despite some good saves from Kati Retfalvi, and goals from all positions, GD’s attack proved too potent – and even though Cambridge managed to bring it back to within 1 goal 10 minutes before the end, eventually GD took the tie by 3 goals. Overall, a disappointing day for all teams, who will look to secure their lead earlier in future. 

Training break and Merry Christmas

The club wants to wish all its members and followers a lovely holiday season and a good start to the New Year.

Last adult training before the festive break is tonight (22.12) and the first training back will be 4.1.2017, Wednesday training from 7-8pm and then we are up and running as normal again. Thursday 5.1.2017, and Monday 9.1.2017 from 8-10pm as usual. 

Junior training restarts on the 9.1.2017 with the U18 session at Trumpington at 6.30pm.

 

Cambridge junior players long-listed for GB squads

We are excited and proud to announce that two of our junior female players and one of our junior male players have been selected for preliminary GB squads to participate in the U17 European Championship (female) next year and U19 tournaments (male) in the summer. We are sure that they will represent the club well and are going to work hard with them in trainings and matches to prepare them for this amazing challenge.

 

Great weekend in Varna

Cambridge Handball Club made their way to Bulgaria last weekend to take on Lokomotiv Varna in the 3rd round of the EHF Challenge Cup, representing GBR in Europe for the second time after 2014/2015 . This year Lokomotiv Varna agreed to host both matches, so we were welcomed at the seaside resort at the Black Sea by our gracious hosts on Friday, set up in our hotel and had our final training in the Kamicha sport complex. 

The first match on Saturday truly showed the Olympic legacy in GBR as our scoring was opened with 2 beautiful goals from Tobias Barber, one of 4 players in the squad who had picked up handball after watching it at London 2012. While Cambridge could hold their own for the opening minutes, by 10min into the game Varna has started to pull away despite a valiant effort on our side, and the half-time deficit was 7-19. Vowing to regroup and do better, the team came out of the changing room determined to show what we can do, and that we did, only losing the second half by 2 goals finishing the first match 22-36. Encouraged by the improved performance in the 2nd half, the team started the 2nd match on Sunday highly motivated and this time managed to keep the score tight until 20minutes in (10-9 for Varna at this point). Having lost two of our back players to injuries, we started to flag a little and by half time, Varna’s lead had increased to 18-12. Nevertheless Cambridge never gave up and kept fighting until the end, to a respectable 40-25. This time, especially Florian Stroehl was on fire, scoring 12 goals alone! Sunday night we celebrated our  amazing weekend with a lovely dinner with our hosts, followed by a night out. It is safe to say that despite the clear defeats, everyone had a great time and was proud to represent GBR in international competition, and it only remains to thank Varna for the great hospitality and sportsmanship they displayed throughout the whole weekend and wish them good luck for the next round.

 

 

 

 

Team ready for Challenge Cup encounter against Lokomotiv Varna

The team has arrived in Varna, Bulgaria and greeted by our generous hosts at the airport. We are now all set up for tomorrow’s match, having trained at the venue and going over last minute details of the upcoming match. 

We will take on the top of the league Bulgarian team at 5pm local time (=3pm UK time) and there will be a youtube stream available of the game, we will publish the link here and on our Facebook page as soon as we have it.

You can find our line-up and later results here.
trainingpic

Less than 24h to go now!

Cambridge HC vs HC Lokomotiv Varna

Disappointing results against West London Eagles a week before EHF Challenge Cup in Bulgaria

This weekend was an important one for Cambridge Handball Club, as all three teams faced their West London Eagles HC counterparts: there were two top-of-the-table clashes, as the men looked to go into next week’s European Challenge Cup match on the back of a win.

 

Cambridge Men’s II opened proceedings, looking to secure their first win of a frustrating season. Cambridge started the match uncharacteristically alert, moving the ball well and soon began to exploit gaps in the Eagles’ defence, and entered half-time 15-11 up, thanks to a number of goals from the back-court, largely from centre-player Nicolas Martin. Eagles, however, returned from the break invigorated, and soon began to draw the tie level, at one point pulling into a one-goal lead. Cambridge had begun to panic – their first half patience had all but disappeared, as Cambridge took half-chances instead of waiting for better ones to appear. As coach, Agnes Föglein, called for calm, the attack settled and the defence solidified, helped by another strong performance by goalkeeper Graham Jack, and the match moved towards a tense finish. Cambridge were able to hold out, finishing the match 25-24 winners.

 

The women’s team took to the court next: still in their debut season in the top league, every match was to prove a challenge, although their results so far proved they were up to it. Both teams exchanged goals in an even opening few minutes, but soon, West London’s Eagles hit without reply, as Cambridge suffered several early two-minute suspensions. Cambridge did regroup, particularly in the second half, and kept the deficit close, with Grete Morkvenaite scoring 13 among others. However, the Eagles’ lead was to prove insurmountable, and they went on to take the match 31-27.

 

It fell to the men’s team to brighten spirits, who went into the day as national Super 8 table-toppers. With a full bench, and several key players returning from injury, the team were optimistic – but Eagles demonstrated from the very start that they were worthy opposition. It was the West London Eagles that pulled into an early lead, with a competent back-court performance that the Cambridge defence struggled to contain, going into the half time break 19-13 down. Try as they might, goals from Florian Ströhl and Alejandro Garcos were not enough to swing the match in their favour, with every Cambridge goal instantly replied to with an Eagles goal. The team will go to Europe this weekend at full-strength, but looking for a better performance to defeat their Bulgarian hosts.

Cup draw – 1st round bye for men’s team, women’s facing London GD

Today the draw for the EHA National Cup was released, and our men’s team has been given a bye for the first round, entering the competition only in the second round to host the winner of the Deva/Islington clash.

Our women’s team has been drawn away against London GD for the first round, facing a strong opponent in the early stages already.

The full draw can be found below, and dates will be confirmed in due course:

 

Women’s

Round 1 :

  1. West London Eagles v BYE
  2. Peninsula v Poole
  3. Loughborough v BYE
  4. Olympia v BYE
  5. Coventry v BYE
  6. NEM Hawks v BYE
  7. London GD v Cambridge
  8. London Angels v BYE

 

Round 2 / Quarter Final: 

  1. Match 2 v Olympia
  2. Coventry v Loughborough
  3. London Angels v Match 7
  4. West London Eagles v NEM Hawks

 

Semi Final: 22nd / 23rd April

 

Final: Saturday 20th May

 

Men

 

Round 1

  1. Cambridge v BYE
  2. West London v Nottingham
  3. Carshalton v BYE
  4. Loughborough v BYE
  5. Brighton v BYE
  6. Olympia v BYE
  7. Warrington v Bolton
  8. Southampton v BYE
  9. Poole v Oxford
  10. Coventry v BYE
  11. London GD v BYE
  12. Liverpool v NEM Hawks
  13. Cranfield v BYE
  14. Oly Cats v BYE
  15. Deva v Islington
  16. Manchester v BYE

 

Round 2 

  1. Cambridge v Match 15
  2. Match 7 v Olympia
  3. Match 2 v Cranfield
  4. Carshalton v Manchester
  5. Oly Cats v Match 9
  6. Loughborough v London GD
  7. Match 12 v Brighton
  8. Southampton v Coventry

 

Quarter Final: 4th / 5th March

 

Semi Final: 22nd / 23rd April

 

Final: Saturday 20th May

 

 

Links broken

Unfortunately, some of our links on the website are currently broken. When you click on a specific match day, it brings you to an error message, saying the page is not found, as the plugin handling the fixtures is using faulty links. i.e. if you click on the Coventry fixtures, it takes you to

http://www.cambridgehandball.com/event/2030/

instead of the correct page under the address

http://www.cambridgehandball.com/blog/event/2030/

 

While we cannot manually fix this problem, you can simply enter the missing /blog section into the address and still see the relevant pages. We are hoping to resolve this problem as soon as possible.