Yes, it’s week 21, not week 20 as the standings might suggest, but since the HSV Hamburg has been kicked out of the league one team can use the free time to rest a little bit, which might favor certain teams prior to certain matchups, but we will take a look at this later on in the season. What’s most important right now is the fact that the Rhein-Neckar Löwen (36:4) are still in first place, two points clear of reigning champions THW Kiel (34:6) and three virtual points clear of SG Flensburg-Handewitt (31:7).
While Flensburg destroyed Kiel in the EHF Champions League on Sunday it had absolutely no influence on the league, as THW coach Alfred Gislason opted to use his backups for large parts of the game. Still, the win shows what Flensburg is capable of and just days ahead of tomorrow’s big game at the Rhein-Neckar Löwen the players of Ljubomir Vranjes showed everyone why they should still be considered title contenders.
In other news Lübbecke was quite close to win for the first time this season but even the additions of Nikola Manojlovic and Piotr Grabarczyk weren’t enough as Mait Patrail tied the game in the last minute as the match finished in a 29-29 draw. The hosts remain winless and stuck in 17th place, five points shy of Eisenach, whoch got hammered by Lemgo at home (22-28). In Stuttgart newly acquired Johannes Bitter made the difference for the TVB 1898 against the Bergischer HC in a 25-23 victory.
Another important game took place in Balingen where four European champions faced off. Playmaker Martin Strobel scored the winner seconds before the end against his Germany teammate Andreas Wolff, who showed a little rust saving just 18.52% of the shots he faced. Right now it seems like Eisenach and the Bergischer HC will fight for the last spot in the league next season. One point separates both sides at the moment.
THW Kiel – VfL Gummersbach 31-26 (14-11)
SC Magdeburg – SC DHfK Leipzig 28-31 (12-17)
TuS N-Lübbecke – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf 29-29 (16-18)
HWB Balingen-Weilstetten – HSG Wetzlar 27-26 (15-12)
ThSV Eisenach – TBV Lemgo 22-28 (9-13)
Frisch Auf Göppingen – Rhein-Neckar Löwen 19-26 (9-13)
Füchse Berlin – MT Melsungen 23-24 (10-10)
TVB 1898 Stuttgart – Bergischer HC 25-23 (10-9)