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10 days ago - 6/14/2018

National Champions of Europe – Women Part 2: North-East

Part two of the six-part series on national champions of the 2017/18 season focuses on the leagues in Finland, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova.

FINLAND
Dicken for the fourth time in a row

While Dicken lost the men’s championship final to Cocks, the women from the club took revenge by becoming national champions for the fourth time in succession.

In the league, Dicken came in second after HIFK, but that did not stop them from taking the trophy after a final series that extended over the maximum of five matches.

HIFK opened the final series by winning rather clearly, 25:20 at home, only to see Dicken take the second leg 27:25 on their home court. The home sides continued the trend in the next two matches, as HIFK won the third game 25:22, and Dicken the fourth 24:18.

Having topped the league, HIFK had the home advantage in the fifth match, but that turned out to be the only one that ended with an away win. After holding a narrow edge at the end of the low-scoring first half, 9:8, Dicken left little doubt in the last 30 minutes, with an overall result of 29:24 leading them to their fourth consecutive Finnish championship trophy.

BELARUS
BNTU make a comeback

BNTU-BelAZ won the Belarusian league for the first time since 2015, celebrating what was the 23rd title for the team from the Minsk region.

In 2016 and 2017, the trophy went to Gomel, who were determined to claim their third straight trophy in 2018. But there were no play-offs in the league this season, and in the round-robin tournament, BNTU had the upper hand.

In late April, the team coached by 1988 Olympic champion Kanstantsin Sharavarau confidently claimed two points at Gomel (32:23) and secured the title with three matches to spare.

 

БНТУ-БелАЗ одержал победу над Гомелем в заключительном матче Чемпионата РБ Сегодня в Минске состоялся заключительный матч Чемпионата Республики Беларусь по гандболу среди женских команд. Напомним, что БНТУ-БелАЗ досрочно обеспечил себе чемпионство в этом сезоне, поэтому сегодняшний матч ничего не решал. Но праздничности и торжественности добавляла грядущая церемония награждения чемпионов! Матч шел "под-диктовку" чемпионок, как это и полагается лидерам. Хотя лидеров команды на площадке и не наблюдалось. Сегодня команда отыграла без Мазго, Артюхович, Сухомировой и Сафоновой, которые провели матч на скамейке запасных, так и не выйдя на площадку. Но в отсутствии лидеров команда проявила себя просто великолепно! Первые три минуты команды не позволяли друг другу "распаковать" счет на табло. После чего это удалось Гутовой, вслед за ней забросила Коновал, потом Маркелова и счет на табло был уже 3:0! К 13 минуте счет на табло был уже 9:3! Шут защищала ворота раз за разом, в том числе отражала семиметровые. Эти "+6" сохранились до конца первого тайма. Счет на табло после первого тайма 16:10. Второй тайм не преподнес никаких сюрпризов. Разница в счете на табло сохранялась весь второй тайм. К финальному свистку на табло были цифры 29:21!!! Хоть и осознание чемпионства пришло раньше, все равно эмоций было "хоть отбавляй"! Крики радости, счастливые лица, золотые медали и Кубок Чемпиона РБ были дополнены праздничным феерверком! Поздравляем девчонок с заслуженным и очень уверенным чемпионством!!! По итогам Чемпионата РБ наши девчонки получили следующие награды: Лучшая левая полусредняя - Анастасия Мазго Лучшая правая полусредняя - Лилия Артюхович Лучший вратарь - Алеся Сафонова Лучший бомбардир - Анастасия Мазго

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RUSSIA
Rostov dominate again

In 2018, EHF FINAL4 participants Rostov-Don won the Russian Superleague for the fourth time. This is their third title in four recent years, as the team also became champions in 2015 and 2017.

This time, Rostov struggled a little in the regular season and finished third, one point behind Lada Togliatti and Astrakhanochka. But as the season progressed, the star-studded team coached by Frederic Bougeant started to show their real strength.

In the play-offs, they won all their matches, beating Stavropol in the quarter-final, Astrakhanochka in the semi-final and Lada in the final with the same 2:0 result in all the best-of-three series.

It was the second Russian championship title for Bougeant, who stepped down at the end of the season and will be replaced by Ambros Martin.

UKRAINE
Galytchanka win gold in style

No team has been able to challenge Galytchanka in recent years. The team from Lviv won their fourth consecutive title, and did it in style, finishing 13 points clear of their nearest rival Karpaty Uzhgorod.

Despite the success, club management decided to change the head coach shortly after the end of the championship. Tatiana Stefan, who had been working with the club since November 2015 and led them to three straight league titles, was replaced by Vasili Kozar.

With the new coach, Galytchanka failed to defend their national Cup title, losing 36:28 to Karpaty in the final match.

LITHUANIA
Zalgiris take revenge

Last year, HC Garliava SM-CASCADA ended ACME-Zalgiris’ four-year reign in the national league, beating them in the final series.

This season, the two teams met in the decisive matches once again, and Zalgiris took convincing revenge. In the best-of-five series, the Kaunas-based team needed just three games to secure the title.

LATVIA
Stopinu stay on top

Stopinu NHK have been the dominant force in Latvian women’s handball in recent years. In 2017/18, the team won their third champion’s title in a row and sixth in the last eight years.

The final series were played in a best-of-three format, with Stopinu beating Jekabpils at home (27:24) before winning even more convincingly away (23:17) and thus claiming the gold medal.

Stopinu’s 43-year-old veteran Ivita Asare, who scored nine and 10 goals, respectively, in the final games, was selected as MVP of the season.  

ESTONIA
Second in a row for Reval Sport/Padise

Reval Sport/Mella were a dominant force in the Estonian women’s handball for many years, but now the times have changed. The team with a similar name, Reval Sport/Padise, won the title for the second straight year in 2017/18.

Just like in 2017, the two rivals met in the final series, and Padise won 27:23 in the first game before ending the second match in a draw, 26:26.

MOLDOVA
Chisinau end eight-year wait for title

In 2018, Scoala Sportiva Handbal 2 Chisinau brought the title home to the Moldavian capital after an eight-year hiatus.

The best season ever for the team that represents a handball school in Chisinau saw them propelled past Tiraspol, who won the title in the last seven seasons.

Author: Peter Bruun / Sergey Nikolaev / Adrian Costieu / cg