December 2, 2023
Today was a historic start for the women’s handball in our region, as 8 teams started their journey towards the Baltic sea league championship. Friday saw games in two countries between eight teams. In the end it was a good day for Estonia, Finland and Lithuania.
In the first game the Estonian team Mistra took an early lead over the Latvian team REIR, but the visitors soon crawled back and were in front 15:14 by the half time. In the second half a close battle continued and neither opponent gave anything easy to the other. The lead was never big, but in the end the Estonian side managed to secure a narrow 33:32 victory, with the help of eight goals from Karmen Vaiksaar. The top scorer of Dobele was Linda Kanepe with nine goals.
“We should communicate more in defense and take more care of our passes. If we continue to play our own game, then the results should be better and everything will work out,” said the goalkeeper of REIR Laura Hansone, who was voted best player from the Latvian side, after the game. “We played a great game as a collective and as a cohesive unit today. We were able to push our pace on the opponents and that got us the win today,” answered the best Estonian player, Jennifer Mednikova.
Second game in Estonia saw SK Latgols from Latvia and Finnish GrIFK taking the field. The Finns dominated the game from the beginning and were leading by seven goals by the half and took a commanding 41:25 victory in the end. 13 players scored for GrIFK, with the top scorer title going to Emilia Karell and Greta Wiren with six goals. Madara Cibulska scored eight times for Latgols.
“We played our own game and run a lot today. We knew that we could get some easy goals this way. That was the key to victory. We can improve our defense a little bit so that we could have as good of a result tomorrow,” said Emilia Karell after the game, who was also voted the best player of the game.
In the third game it was a domestic battle in Lithuania between Egle and VMSM. The extremely tight game saw VMSM Sostinės Tauras-VHC taking a narrow 29:28 victory over their local opponents. Although Egle won the first half, they could not hold on to the lead. Greta Sadauskaitė scored seven goals for Egle and Gabija Pilikauskaitė responded with 13 for the winners.
The last battle saw another Finnish team Dicken starting their Baltic Sea league journey against Kaunas Žalgiris from Lithuania. The Finns took a commanding lead from the beginning, winning the first half 17:11. Although the Lithuanians battled back, in the end, it was not enough and Dicken won 31:28. Top scorers for Dicken were Malena Heikkinen and Emilia Sundstrõm with 5 and Klaudija ŠIDLAUSKYTĖ with 6 goals for Kaunas.
“We had a great effort at defense today and we played like a team today, that was the key to victory today. If we can also reduce our technical mistakes, then we should achieve great results here at the Baltic Sea league,” commented the goalkeeper of Dicken, Charlotta Brunberg, who was voted the player of the game.
First tournament in the women’s Baltic Sea league:
16:00 Mistra/Estonia -REIR/Dobele/Latvia 33:32
18:00 SK Latgols/Latvia – GrIFK/Finland 25:41
20:00 Dicken/Finland – Kaunas Žalgiris/Lithuania 31:28
19:00 Vilnius Eglė VMSM Sostinės tauras-VHC 28:29
14:00 GrIFK/Finland – REIR/Dobele/Latvia
16:00 SK Latgols/Latvia– Dicken/Finland
18:00 Kaunas Žalgiris/Lithuania – Mistra/Estonia
12:00 VMSM Sostinės tauras-VHC CASCADA – HC Garliava SM
10:00 Dicken/Finland – REIR/Dobele/Latvia
12:00 Kaunas Žalgiris/Lithuania – GrIFK/Finland
14:00 Mistra/Estonia – SK Latgols/Latvia
CASCADA – HC Garliava SM Vilnius Eglė
On the photo: Dicken (In the red shirts) were one of the two Finnish teams who started the Baltic Sea league with a victory (Photo Credit : Joonas Kuuskla/Estonian Handball Federation)