December 3, 2023
Sunday saw the culmination of the first weekend of games in the women’s handball Baltic Sea league. The last day brought victories for Finland, Lithuania and Latvia. The tournament will continue in the middle of January with games in Latvia and Estonia and will reach its end in the middle of March with all the teams competing in Lithuania.
In the first game of the day Finnish team Dicken took an impressive win over Latvian team Dobele. Leading the half 22:9 they secured their perfect record for the weekend with a 42:26 win. Powered by nine goals by Malena Heikkinen. Top scorer for Dobele was Elīza Bilkšte with six goals.
“We played a great first half, with a good defense and running a lot of fast breaks from there. All in all we had a fun weekend playing against women we have not met before. The handball is different and we got a lot of new experiences,” commented the MVP for Dicken, Matilda Peitsaro. “It is great that this league has started. We can not get this experience in our home country. Younger players can see how handball is played elsewhere,” answered the best player for the Latvians, Elīza Bilkšte.
The next game was between Kaunas from Lithuania and GrIFK from Finland. The Lithuanians started the game with a 13:7 spurt and held on to that lead until the end of the game. In the end Žalgiris won 31:28. The top scorer for the winners was Karolina Cekuolyte with six goals. Emilia Karell scored ten times for the Finns.
“Our key today was great defense and playing as a team. We got a great experience from this tournament and this is very useful before our next games in the Lithuanian league. It is a real pleasure,” said Cekuolyte, who was the MVP, after the game. “It is a great event. We got a lot of international experience here. In Finland there are a lot of meetings with the same faces, here we saw different handball,” added the best player for Dicken, Karell.
The last game in Estonia saw the hosts Mistra take the field against Latvian side SK Latgols. Lativans took an early lead and won the first half 17:11. Although the Estonians gave the opponents a tough battle, Latgols still edged out a 33:29 victory. Laura Kärner scored 11 goals for the Estonians and Madara Cibulska six for the opponents.
“We started off a bit lazy. If we could have played the whole game as we did in the end, the result could have been better,” said Vaiksaar for the Estonians. “It was not an easy victory, but it is good we can take these two points back to Latvia,” added the MVP of the game Linda Krole.
And the weekend was ended by Lithuanian rivalry between Cascada HC Garliava SM and Vilnius Eglė. Garliava took the reins from the beginning and was leading 22:16 by the half time. In the end the Cascada women took a certain 40:30 victory. The top scorer for the winners was Mantė Voskresenskaja with 10 and for the opponents Greta Sadauskaitė with 11 goals.
The next games in the women’s Baltic Sea league will take place in the middle of January, when teams will compete in Latvia and Estonia. The tournament will reach its conclusion in Lithuania in March.
Standings after the first weekend (games played, points)
Dicken 3 6p
Kaunas Žalgiris 3 4p
GrIFK 3 4p
VMSM Sostinės tauras-VHC 1 2p
SK Latgols 3 2p
Mistra 3 2p
CASCADA – HC Garliava SM 2 2p
Vilnius Eglė 2 0p
REIR / Dobele SS 3 0p
First tournament weekend 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 39:26
16:00 SK Latgols/Latvia– Dicken/Finland 22:40
18:00 Kaunas Žalgiris/Lithuania – Mistra/Estonia 36:24
12:00 VMSM Sostinės tauras-VHC CASCADA – HC Garliava SM 31:23
10:00 Dicken/Finland – REIR/Dobele/Latvia 42:26
12:00 Kaunas Žalgiris/Lithuania – GrIFK/Finland 31:28
14:00 Mistra/Estonia – SK Latgols/Latvia 33:29
CASCADA – HC Garliava SM Vilnius Eglė 40:30
On the photo: Dicken and Kaunas are leading the Baltic Sea league (Photo Credit : Joonas Kuuskla/Estonian Handball Federation)