British Handball notches first ever Euro qualification match win

Earlier today the British Handball women defeated Finland 17-14 in Helsinki in the first leg of a two leg series to decide which nation will advance to the next round of qualification for the Women’s Euro 2010 Championships. The second leg will be played this Saturday in the UK with the winner on aggregate goals advancing to group play. Great Britain should feel pretty good about winning a qualification match on foreign soil, but the low scoring match rightly gave head coach, Jesper Holmris, cause for concern. As a physically talented, but inexperienced team it appears they won the match on defense with a strong goalie performance. Perhaps they can hold the more experienced Finns to just 14 goals again, but it’s not something they should count on.

Commentary: I would assess that this match should probably go down as Britain’s first “real” match win. By my definition a “friendly” match win is nice, but since there is nothing really on the line it doesn’t really count for much. In my book, the only matches that really count are matches that directly relate to World Championship or Continental Championship qualification. I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge Great Britain has never previously won a match that fits that definition. Sure, Finland is not a European handball power, but I’d wager that the least experienced player on the Finnish squad has probably been playing handball longer than every single British player. On top of that the Brits won on the road. It’s a long road to actually qualifying for the European Championships. The Brits first need to take care of business this week at home, and then they will need to win matches against much tougher European squads (France, Austria and Iceland) this winter. But, the bottom line is they’ve started out on the right foot by getting revenge on a side that easily beat them by 13 a year ago.

British Handball Website: Great Britain beat Finland 17-14 in Helsinki: