|15.06.2016, 09:20||◄ last page|
DOMESTIC LEAGUES: Krim's long reign comes to an end, but other dominant sides do not slip up in central Europe
National champions of Europe - Women part 3 - Central Europe
All domestic leagues have come to an end and we now approach the draws of the 2016/17 European season. In six parts, the spotlight is shone on each of the national champions and their path to glory. The third part of the women's series consists of teams from Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
Györi Audi ETO KC’s injury crisis continued to this season but with the help of great signings Győr managed to re-build their team.
Ferencváros won the derby at home in the regular season but as Ambros Martín put all his puzzle pieces together the side from Budapest stood no chance. Györ easily eliminated FTC in the Women’s EHF Champions League Quarter-finals (by a devastating 71:41 aggregate margin) and won both games in the Hungarian playoff.
Győr won their 12th national title and reaching the final of the Champions League proves Ambros Martín’s team are back at their best.
Hypo Niederösterreich made Austrian and European sport history thanks to two clear wins in the final against Union Korneuburg (29:23, 41:16).
The team of coach Martin Matuschkowitz took their 40th straight league title in Austria. Since 1976 no other team managed to leave Hypo behind.
This season marked an unwanted piece of history for the champions as the 24:26 defeat in the regular season at eventual final opponent Korneuburg was the first defeat in a league since 22 March 1993, but that counted for nothing when the sides came face to face again in the final.
It was the closest race for the trophy in more than a decade and with three rounds before the end four teams - Thüringer HC, Leipzig, Metzingen and Bietigheim - could become champions.
Finally a final of two clubs level on points decided the championship with eventual cup winners Leipzig clearly defeated 31:20 by THC.
For coach Herbert Müller and his team it was the sixth straight trophy in the league. “We made history, as we could not expect a season like this after all the injuries and changes in the team,” coach Müller said.
The biggest surprise was EHF Cup finalists Metzingen (including season MVP Anna Loerper), playing the by far best season of their history, but finally lost two crucial matches right before the end, finishing second thanks to their better goal difference compared to Leipzig.
There was a surprise in the Slovenian league this season as Zagorje overthrew the powerful Krim after two decades to reign supreme.
The 21-time Slovenian champions Krim, were dethroned after more than two decades, as RK Zagorje defeated RK Brezice to put an end to Krim's hegemony and claim their first domestic title. The young Zagorje team were the more consistent of the two bitter rivals in a heated title race.
Zagorje also came undefeated in both of their matches against Krim this season, which put an unequivocal claim to the title as early as mid-way through the competition.
MKS Selgros Lublin won their 19th gold medal, fourth in succession, in 23 Polish Superleague seasons. The team from Lublin coached by Sabina Wlodek and Monika Marzec finished the regular season in second place behind Pogon Baltica Szczecin but in the best of five matches play-off final, they turned the tables and won 3:1.
In the fourth final game in Lublin MKS Selgros trailed 16:21 just 14 minutes before the end but eventually won 27:25. 3,500 spectators in Globus Sportshall celebrated the improbable victory.
Banik Most may have been eliminated from EHF Cup in 3rd Round by Dinamo-Sinara, but they enjoyed two domestic titles, which make their season a successful one.
The Black Angels had very similar season two years ago – they were knocked out of the European Cup in Last 16, finished only 3rd in Czech-Slovak Interliga, but won Czech cup and league double.
Their fourth title in a row came in very dramatic best of three series against Slavia Praha. Most lost the first game at home 22:28, but managed to beat Slavia in Prague twice, winning the decider 26:22. Déjà vu for Most and Slavia after the encounters in 2014.
After winning the cup against Poruba, Most had several ups and downs. A day off after losing the first final match and motivational “Never give up” bracelets made by their star player Lucia Sukennikova for the deciders in Prague helped to unite the team and end the season successfully.
It is the same story in past six years in Slovakian women‘s handball. Iuventa Michalovce won their ninth title, the sixth in a row. They also won the Slovakian Cup as well as the Czech-Slovakian Interliga.
Michalovce played their arch rivals Slovan Duslo Sala in the final. Sala were the record title holders with nine titles but have been waiting for their tenth for eleven years.
Despite surprising defeat in the second of a possible five matches in the final (23:26) played in Michalovce, The eastern Slovakian team won both away games by nine goals (31:22, 32:23) to be crowned champions for the ninth time. Out of those nine titles, Michalovce celebrated eight of them away from home.
For Michalovce it is their ninth title in thirteen years. They completed golden hat-trick by winning Czech-Slovakian Interliga for the third time in a row, showing their dominance in the region.
TEXT: Tomas Cuncik, Björn Pazen, Nemanja Savic, Michal Pomorski / cor