HBL Roundup: Week 20

HBL Roundup: Week 20

The last games of the year in the DKB Handball-Bundesliga were played on Saturday and Sunday and, although there were some really close results, all nine favored teams won their matches. As reported earlier the SG Flensburg-Handewitt, had to come back from six goals down early in the second half to stay in the title race by winning 32:30 (12:17) at Lemgo.

In Mannheim the Rhein-Neckar Löwen took profit of a Magdeburg side which wasted various golden scoring opportunities to stay on top of the standings after the blowout loss at Kiel three days earlier. The Löwen suffered a great defensive effort by the guests and lacked speed on the wings missing Uwe Gensheimer and Patrick Groetzki, but hung on for a 27:25 (16:9) victory.

The THW Kiel had to push harder than expected against lowly Bergischer HC at the LANXESS arena in Köln, which saw a league season-high 13.380 people in attendance. The guests lost Danish line-player Rene Toft Hansen to a knee injury, but his backup Igor Anic did a great job and Kiel never panicked although the hosts came closer and closer, but not close enough in a 28:31 (10:15) loss.

Meanwhile in Hamburg the HSV made no prisoners in white might be the last game in team history amid the club’s huge financial trouble. Frisch Auf Göppingen as lost right from the start, was down by eight at the break (10:18) and suffered a mind-blowing 24:36 defeat at the hands of a team which will lose both Adrian Pfahl and Jens Vortmann on free transfers on January 1st.

The comeback kids of the league, the TVB 1898 Stuttgart, almost stole another point in the final minute, but in the end the eight goal deficit at halftime (7:15) was just too much to overcome as the hosting VfL Gummersbach, looking like the sure winner, was very close to stumble over its own self-confidence. But the “Altmeister” was lucky to escape with a 25:24 win.

All four remaining games of Week 20 were not even close. Wetzlar made sure to finish the year in great style, goalkeeper Andreas Wolff had another outstanding game and the TuS N-Lübbecke remains winless, while the HSG went on to win 33:24 (18:10). The Füchse Berlin led by ten (20:10) at the break against Eisenach cruising to a 30:24 victory.

The MT Melsungen, loser of four of the five last league games, ended the year on a high note against newly-promoted Leipzig. But the 31:23 (18:12) win against the SC DHfK was only little comfort for a team with higher ambitions than fifth place. In the meantime Hannover is climbing up the table and now sits in ninth place, just for points shy of Melsungen, after defeating Balingen 32:27 (16:15).

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