First London Handball Tournament for 2012 Recruits

SportHouse the London 2012 Handball training venue hosted the first tournament for players who have taken up Handball since the Olympic Games on Sunday.

Teams from northwest, southwest, central, south and east London were joined by Cambridge and produced outstanding passages of play in a closely fought competition in the outstanding facilities at SportHouse.

The teams were organised into two groups and played a round robin of matches before proceeding to the knockout stages. London GD drew 8-8 with Cambridge in the first match of Group A and went on to finish top as Olympia held Cambridge to a 2-2 draw in the final match after first losing to London GD.

Drawn matches were also a feature in Group B where Thames and Ruislip Eagles drew 3-3 and then UCLU and Thames drew 2-2. Ruislip Eagles achieved the important decisive result against UCLU winning 3-2 to head Group B moving into the play-off stages.

A great battle took place between Thames and London GD in the first play-off match which really saw the teams light up the court with fast breaks and sizzling shots from all angles. At full time the score was 6-6 and the first penalty competition was held to decide the winner. After five penalties each it was London GD who moved forward to the finals and Thames to the 3rd & 4th place match with the scoreline 9-8.

Speed, strength and stamina produced outstanding attacking and scoring in the second play-off match between Ruislip Eagles and Cambridge and it was Ruislip Eagles that ran out winners 8-3 as balanced attacks from both sides of the court proved too much on this occasion for Cambridge.

The final matches to decide placings saw teams and players raise their performance yet again. UCLU ran out winners against Olympia to finish 5th and Cambridge raised their game to give Thames their first defeat of the tournament in normal time to take 3rd place.

In the final match between London GD and Ruislip Eagles the score changed hands a number of times throughout the match until with 30 secs to go the match was tied 6-6. After the ball was parried by the Ruislip Eagles goalkeeper from a strong London GD shot the Eagles outfield players launched one more fast break attack.

The goalkeeper delivered a pass to halfway with pin-point accuracy and after some clever passing the Ruislip left half made a scything run between two defenders and attempted to launch himself and a shot but was pulled down by the defence.

The referee had no choice but to award a penalty and with four seconds remaining Ruislip Eagles took the lead which they held onto for the few remaining tense seconds to win the match 7-6 and the first post Olympic London Handball tournament for new players.

Congratulations to all the teams for taking part and producing an excellent Handball competition. Thanks to SportHouse for hosting and to Marc Fayemi (Ruislip Eagles) for promoting, organising and running the tournament.

The next beginners tournament will take place on Saturday 15th December at SportHouse. Final places:

1. Ruislip Eagles
2. London GD
3. Cambridge
4. Thames
6. Olympia

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