Three Baltic derbies took place in Group A. The Estonian teams Viljandi HC and Mistra fought for first place in the group. Granitas-Karys Kaunas and Dragūnas Klaipėda, both of whom have already secured their places in the play-offs, met in Lithuania. The Latvian teams HC Ogre/HYDROX and ASK Zemessardze/LSPAfinished the Baltic League season.
Viljandi HC defeated the Mistra team in the Estonian derby. The BHL champion Viljandi HC won eighth game in a row and remains the only club this season that has not dropped a single point. Viljandi HC is 4 points ahead of its closest pursuers Dragūnas Klaipėda and Mistra. In the remaining two matches against Granitas-Karys and Dragūnas, the Estonian team needs to win only a point to become the winner of the group.
Viljandi HC – Mistra 23:20 (10:10)
Viljandi HC – Ott Varik 5, Voika 4, Pertelson 4.
Mistra – Orlovskyi 8, Anton 3, Annula 3.
Marko Koks (coach, Viljandi HC):
Second game in a row we started very bad, with lots of turnovers and bad shots. The defence was good but attacking in the first half was way too bad. Second half we stayed in defence as in the first half but we got easy goals. Also our goalkeeper helped us a lot. So we pleased with victory at home and looking forward to next games.
The Dragūnas club won against the Granitas team away, catching up with the defeated Mistra club. Dragūnas and Mistra have 12 points each. These teams will meet each other in the last matchweek. With the loss, Granitas has no chance to move up from fourth place. Granitas will meet the Group B leader Pölva Serviti in the quarter-finals.
Granitas-Karys Kaunas – Dragūnas Klaipėda 18:21 (7:13)
Granitas-Karys – Lazauskas 6, Zėringis 4.
Dragūnas – Šmantauskas 8, Drakšas 5.
Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragūnas):
Looking at the match protocol, it may seem like an easy victory. But playing against Granitas is never easy, as this team fights until the end of the game. The most important thing is that there were no holes in our game. We may not have scored many goals, but our victory was down to good defence.
Vaidotas Grosas (coach, Granitas-Karys):
It is impossible to win a match with only 18 goals. Veteran teams score more goals in their matches. The start of the match did not bode ill and the first 20 minutes were an even fight. But then our disease – realisation of the opportunities created – came out. Four missed penalties and mistakes prevented us from fighting for victory.
The Latvian teams HC Ogre/HYDROX and ASK Zemessardze/LSPA, who played in Group A, finished the BHL season. The multiple BHL champion ASK Zemessardze/LSPA, which returned to the Baltic Handball League after a break, scored 6 points in 10 games and took fifth place. The HC Ogre/HYDROX team scored zero points this season.
HC Ogre/HYDROX – ASK Zemessardze/LSPA 27:35 (14:17)
Ogre/HYDROX – Patsykailik 7, Haisa 6, Čikuts 6.
ASK Zemessardze/LSPA – Grebeņņikovs 10, Ozols 7.
Mārtiņs Stukanovs (coach, ASK Zemessardze/LSPA):
Today’s game was good. We were able to control the momentum throughout the whole 60 minutes and not let go of the result of the game. Despite Ogre’s small bench, they fought hard. I can congratulate all ASK players and fans with the victory in the last Baltic league game this season. We will take the best from this season, keep training and try to fulfill the goals of our team next season.
Andris Molotanovs (coach, HC Ogre/HYDROX):
In the game against ASK Zemassardze/LSPA, it was difficult to score in the first half. We made a lot of technical mistakes in the game. The Baltic League ended for us today. Thanks to all teams for good games this season.