British Men participate in 4 Nations Tournament in Luxembourg; Ireland and Scotland take part in EHF Challenge Cup

The British Men played their first competitive matches in several months at the 4 Nations Tournament in Luxembourg. Great Britain came away with a draw and 2 losses in their 3 matches against Luxembourg (32-32), Belgium (23-25) and French club, Mulhouse (26-21).

While it’s good news that Great Britain can now play level against two other sides in Europe’s lower tier, it still shows that they still have a long way to go towards being more competitive against the teams they’ll face in London 2012. Belgium and Luxembourg both participated in Euro 2010 qualification last year and both sides compiled 0-0-8 records losing each of their matches by an average of around 9 goals. The fourth team in the tournament, French club, Mulhouse, is currently in 11th place (out of 14 clubs) with a 2-1-4 record in France’s Division 2.

2012 is now a little over 2 and half years away, but there’s still time for improvement. Many of their players are playing in Europe and the IOC recently came through with $110,000 to support their program and its preparation for WC 2011 qualification matches against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania and Finland.

In other British Isles action, Scotland and Ireland participated in the EHF Challenge Cup in Malta. Both sides were soundly defeated by Malta and Finland and Ireland salvaged their trip with a 35-29 victory over Scotland for 3rd Place. Congratulations to Oisin O’Brannigain (Center Back) of Ireland and Scott Frew (Defence) of Scotland who made the all-star team for the tournament. Also, in case you were wondering why Scotland and Great Britain can be playing in a tournament at the same time it’s a little complicated. Depending on the sport, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete independently rather than as a combined Great Britain team. And in sports like Handball they do both. For a tutorial on the terminology:

Luxembourg Handball Federation: 4 Nations Results:
Handball Head Coach pleased with the performance of GB Men:
IOC gives $110K to GB Handball:
EHF: Challenge Cup Results:
British Player Huw Goodwin Blog Report: