HIFK regain Finnish title in dramatic finish
Since 2012 HIFK and Dicken have been sharing the spoils in the women’s championship in Finland, with both Helsinki-based clubs winning the title four times.
While Dicken had won it the past four seasons, HIFK reclaimed the title in 2018/19, beating their rivals in a tense best-of-five play-off series. It meant that both the women’s and the men’s team of Dicken finished runners-up this season.
The only women’s team from Finland in Europe this season, HIFK were sent out of the Women’s Challenge Cup early by eventual finalists SPR Pogon Szczecin from Poland (33:22 in Poland, 21:21 in Finland).
Jeeeeeeee!!!! Uskomatonta!!! Tämä JOUKKUE ei luovuta koskaan!! Kiitos yleisö!! Emme koskaan unohda tätä päivää ❤ SUOMENMESTARIT!!! pic.twitter.com/UAFRGau67h— HIFK Damhandboll (@HIFKdamhandboll) May 12, 2019
In the final of the domestic championship play-off, however, they ended on top in a close race.
Initially Dicken looked like extending their streak as they won the first two matches (28:26 and 15:14) to lead the series 2:0, but HIFK hit back in the next two matches (21:17 and 21:20).
So it all came down to fifth and deciding match, at the Helsinki Sports Hall on 12 May. After a remarkably low-scoring first half, Dicken led 8:3.
But after the break HIFK found their stride and the teams were level at 17:17 at the final buzzer. The match went into extra time where HIFK just got their nose in front in the end, 20:19, to celebrate their first championship in five years.
Photo: Facebook HIFK Käsipallonaiset Handbollsdamer