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Double defeat for Cambridge Handball sides against Bristol and West London Eagles on return to city at University Sports Centre





A tough weekend for the Cambridge Handball sides on their return to the city as they slipped to double defeat to Bristol and West London Eagles respectively.

The men’s side were not active enough in meeting the Bristol players when defending, although they did show promise in attack and managed to significantly reduce the half time deficit before Bristol peeled away again to fall to a 26-34 loss.

The women’s side netted their most goals in a game this season against a West London Eagles side that finished the league season tied on points at the top of the table with London GD and Olympia, in an eventual 21-63 defeat.

The Cambridge Handball sides suffered double defeat against Bristol and West London Eagles on their return to the city at the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball
The Cambridge Handball sides suffered double defeat against Bristol and West London Eagles on their return to the city at the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball

Both teams will now participate in repsective relegation playoffs, to take place over the weekends of April 13/14, 20/21 and May 4/5.

Cambridge Men’s 26 – 34 Bristol – Regional League South 1:

The men’s side fielded the most players of any of their games this season, including four goalkeepers, with Graham Jack a welcome addition to the squad. Alberto Lucas, George Goddard and David Moleski also returned to the fold, while Ralf Beaumont made his debut for the side at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre.

The Cambridge Handball men's side walking out before the game against Bristol on their return to the city and the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball
The Cambridge Handball men's side walking out before the game against Bristol on their return to the city and the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball

Much like in the previous game against Islington II, the visitors quickly established a lead with a lapse in defence allowing Victor Fernandes, Alvaro Osle and former Cambridge player Max Grant to open the scoring for Bristol.

Jandro Garcia Costa, Ross Waldron and Toby Barber offered something by way of reply to the quick Bristol start, but with the scoreline gap becoming greater, coach Agi Foeglein called an early timeout in the 12th minute.

She emplored the team to be aggressive in defence to counter the quick Bristol attack and to be fluid in offense themselves to surpass the troublesome 5-1 Bristol defensive set up.

Coach Agi Foeglein took an early timeout in the twelfth minute after Bristol took a quick lead. Picture: Cambridge Handball
Coach Agi Foeglein took an early timeout in the twelfth minute after Bristol took a quick lead. Picture: Cambridge Handball

The home side improved after this, with Vykintas Stuckis in partiuclar nullifying the threat of Grant while Jan Guzik, filling in at line, Garcia, Barber and Lucas found the Bristol net.

Meanwhile, Moleski offered a resilient performance in the Cambridge net which, combined with the better defence, restricted Bristol to 18 goals in the first hakf, while Stuckis closed out Cambridge’s first period to leave the men’s side with 10 goals.

Foeglein repeated her timeout message to the men’s side at the break, encouraging them to stay strong in defense and to be more clinical with shots.

Vykintas Stuckis, pictured second from right, quickly nullified former Cambridge player Max Grant's attacking threat in the first half. Picture: Cambridge Handball
Vykintas Stuckis, pictured second from right, quickly nullified former Cambridge player Max Grant's attacking threat in the first half. Picture: Cambridge Handball

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges of the first half, Barber notching two goals from nine metres and Kevin Guy chipping in from the left wing, while Goddard continued the strong performance from the Cambridge goalkeepers.

The strong start led to a mirror situation of the first half, with Bristol coach Michael Pacy taking an early time out on 38 minutes after Cambridge had significantly reduced their lead. And while Guzik, Waldron, Garcia and Stuckis continued to add goals for the home team, the regrouped visitors found their stride in attack again, Balasz Musitz in particular taking advantage.

Guy added another two from the left wing in quick succession, complemented by another two from Garcia and Beaumont’s first goal for the side, but the momentum had swung in the visitors’ favour, Sam Turner adding two goals for Bristol before Lucas had the final say for Cambridge. The final scoreline, 26-34.

The Cambridge Handball men's side quickly moved to a 5-1 defence to counter Bristol's fluid attacks. Picture: Cambridge Handball
The Cambridge Handball men's side quickly moved to a 5-1 defence to counter Bristol's fluid attacks. Picture: Cambridge Handball

The men’s side now have three extra games as they fight to stay in the Regional League South 1, against Chelsea II, London GD II and Poole Phoenix.

Player of the match – Jandro Garcia/David Moleski

Cambridge Women’s 21 – 63 West London Eagles – Premier Handball League South

Every outfield player scored in the women’s side’s valiant defeat to joint table toppers West London Eagles, the same opposition they faced at Gunnersbury Sports Park three weeks prior.

The scoreline that time read 56-14 in favour of the hosts, with Cambridge boosting this goals total in a single game to a season high in the reverse fixture.

Last season’s cup winners quicky established a sizeable lead over the home side, with goals from Anna Thornhill, Madeleine Edwards and reigning Women’s Premier League player of the season Wiktoria Powyszynska and coach Jandro Garcia took an early timeout on five minutes to settle his side.

Agi Foeglein finding the back of Anesa Begum's net for Cambridge against West London Eagles at the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball
Agi Foeglein finding the back of Anesa Begum's net for Cambridge against West London Eagles at the University Sports Centre, in Philippa Fawcett Drive. Picture: Cambridge Handball

A spell of stronger defence followed, with Pippa Muggan stepping forward in a 5-1 defence. The goals followed for the home side as well, with two for Viki Takacs either side of a strike from Martyna Dziedzic, followed by contributions from Gabi Toma and Agi Foeglein.

And while Muggan added a spectacular goal into the top corner of Yolande Gunn’s net from nine metres, the scoreline gap continued to increase, with Emma Thomann and Soniya Phull in particular punishing the Cambridge defence.

Arwen Tarling and Asha Hall found the West London Eagles net alongside further goals from Foeglein and Muggan to close out the half from Cambridge, with the scoreline reading 11-31 at the break.

The Cambridge Handball women's side moved to a 5-1 defence to try and counter West London Eagles. Picture: Cambridge Handball
The Cambridge Handball women's side moved to a 5-1 defence to try and counter West London Eagles. Picture: Cambridge Handball

The away side again started quicky after the interval, Faustine Portut in particular finding the back of Lucy Roe’s net several times from nine metres.

But the women’s side remained persistent and did not stop despite the scoreline, as Toma scored the first goal of the second half for the home side, followed by two apiece for Dziedzic and Takacs before Sam Yun-Yap was finally rewarded for her persistence on the left wing as she breached Anesa Begum’s goal.

Sadie Kirk also got her name on the scoresheet before Foeglein and Muggan closed out the game for the hosts.

The Cambridge Handball women's side moving quickly back to defence after scoring against West London Eagles. Picture: Cambridge Handball
The Cambridge Handball women's side moving quickly back to defence after scoring against West London Eagles. Picture: Cambridge Handball

A season record in the final game for the women’s side then, a strong positive to take into their relgation playoff, which includes a varsity extension when they host Oxford on April 13/14 alongside trips to Chelsea and Islington.

Player of the match: Sam Yun-Yap



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