Luxol’s first division men team managed an important win against reigning champions La Salle in the second round of the local handball league. The win came as a surprise to many in the local handball camp and considering the achievements La Salle have achieved in the past couple of years one might agree. More than the result per se, one might have noticed a clear change in Luxol’s believe and will to win the game. The game started in a balanced affair with one team scoring and the other replying immediately through fast counter attacks. It seemed that the game would transform in a balanced encounter but Luxol’s resilient approach was awarded as La Salle started having trouble to find the goal and Luxol managing to keep a constant percentage on the opposite side. The gap that resulted between the two teams at the end of the first half helped Luxol keep control in the second half while La Salle kept finding it difficult to find their usual flow and confidence. As the results in the MHA Cup showed this handball season will be a very interesting and balanced one and although Luxol’s win was important, it has to be followed by consistency and disciplined performances in order for the team to challenge for important positions in the table.
Last weekend also confirmed the good work that is being made in our youth sector with the boys U/17 loosing the game to La Salle 14-16 after a very intense game. Our boys were able to play a good tactical game enhanced by great individual technique. Albeit the loss coming in the last minute, our boys came out from the game on a high, realising that they are able to give a good account of themselves in the league.
On Sunday the U/17 started their commitments with a very good win against Swieqi Phoenix. Luxol had a good start but could not manage to get detached from Phoenix who were managing to fight back goal with goal. The second half saw Luxol pay more attention in defence and with good disciplined running managed to strike well with fast transitions, making it seem an easy win. The team showed some good handball but being more consistent will help to have nicer games, though the 24-12 result made this game seem an easy one.
The game our ladies 2nd division had was a bit disappointing with some of the girls available and those who made it to the game had a tough game. With a disappointing end result, one should look at the performance and with two players less for most of the first half, the 9-0 result was a respectable one, thanks also to our keeper Josianne Attard. The end result of 21-4 was the result of our tired players.
Different fortunes were reserved to our 1st division men team, who against an always resilient Swieqi Phoenix, managed to control throughout the whole game. One must not be totally satisfied with the end result, considering that at times the team was up with 8 goals and lack of concentration helped Swieqi into the game for a result of 30-27.
The curtain over the MHA cup has been drawn last weekend with different fortunes for our teams. The men won against a resilient HMS team. Our boys suffered the opponent’s tenacity and audacity to take the game in hand and thus Luxol were not comfortable not being able to take off HMS from their backs. While Luxol managed to create good chances, they were always finding it hard to overcome the last hurdle and score. Although the result meant a win for the boys in purple, one expects better from Luxol, though the win felt good as it will surely give the team a boost for the upcoming league.
Our girls managed to end their MHA cup commitments with a credible performance against La Salle. The girls showed some good defence but La Salle managed to make the best of stolen balls to take an advantage with good counter attacks. If it had not been for the mistakes in attack, one can be satisfied with the attacking performance of our team. One must give credit to our girls who till the end kept fighting hard to get a respectable result from this game.
After 2 credible outings our ladies team registered the first win of the season. It was a win based on tactical discipline where our 6/0 defence backed by a good performance by Josianne Attard made it look easier than it really was. Phoenix tried hard to penetrate our defence but our girls were very close in defence, making it easy to go on fast transitions and strike when Phoenix defence was unbalanced. After dominating the first half with a score of 13-1, our girls relaxed a bit missing some easy shots in the second half and a good performance by Daniela Mifsud helped Phoenix get a more respectable result, though Luxol ended up winners with a score of 19-7.
On Saturday our men had a good performance against La Salle and though our men lost 29-23 the team never gave up and for most of the game was close to its opponents. This should augur well for the coming games and one hopes that when the league starts, the men would be a more threatening side against the more powerful teams.
After a long summer of apprehensions and preparations the season has finally started with the Super Cup and the MHA Cup. Our men team took the field against La Salle on 27th September. The match was a balanced affair more than expected with La Salle having two goals advantage by half time. Luxol suffered a setback after 7 minutes in the second half which saw them loose ground and La Salle ending worthy winners of the Super Cup.
In the first weekend of the MHA Cup our men faced another contender for the league and after starting undertone, Luxol gained ground but lost the game by 3 goals. The game was under Aloysians’ control all the time and Luxol must feel this game was like a lost occasion as the start was an awful one for Luxol full of turnovers. One must feel quite satisfied with the men team after these two performances, where the transition proved to be the team’s strongest asset. Better attention to basics and more accuracy in front of goal, together with stronger defence should be the focus on which to continue to strengthen the team.
The ladies faced Kavallieri in their first game. Our girls did well against a stronger side and more patience in attack together with more accuracy could have tilted the measure on our side. Kavallieri’s speed proved very important in the first part of the second half as our girls could not stop Kavallieri’s fast transition. Better feeling of the game will surely help our girls’ team to reach new heights.
One should be satisfied with our teams’ outings albeit there is room for improvement that would help us get more wins and maybe offer a stronger challenge for higher placing in the league.
Danish Liga team Skandeborg who last season finished 8th out of 16 teams in the Danish top division, will be doing their training camp in Malta between the 18th and 22nd August. Skandeborg will use this camp to continue on their aim of creating a better cohesion between their young talents and the more experienced players and to get ready for the new season where they want to push harder for a European spot. Skandeborg will visit Malta thanks to Daniel Tanti who last season while playing for Skovbakken, managed to have a couple of sessions with the liga team. Aksel Noorgard, one of the trainers at Skandeborg, invited Luxol Handball players Daniel and Joseph Tanti to train with the liga team. The two brothers know Mr. Noorgaard through their stay at Aarhus Sports High School where Mr. Noorgaard is a coach.
Skandeborg will face Malta’s National Team for a friendly game during their stay on the island. The game will be on Thursday 21st August @ 6.30pm @ University Hall.
I hope you all have been doing well. Sorry for writing a bit late again but day were busy. Last Sunday it was the Handball European Championship Final here in Denmark. I didn’t get to see the final match live at the hall but we still watched it on a big screen here in school. The whole championship has been a success and it was great to be volunteering as part of the statistics team cause we got to take some photos with world class players.
Apart from that it has been snowing and freezing cold from almost Day 1 that I came back here after the Christmas holidays. Even though there is this bad weather here, we still have our cosy moments in assembly or other activities where we get to listen to some music, play board games or play some billiards in our free time. Classes have been going good also espescially Danish Team Coach Class where we had a short 45 minute presentation by Japan’s Women National Team Coach. Apart from that we also got out first task in Danish Team Coach Class which is doing a 24-hour based activities for a U/16 boys football team to enhance their individual capabilities with regards to mental capability, determination and self awareness. Also the aim of the task is to bring the group together and help in organising a mixture of hard and fun tasks for these young athletes.
In handball it has also been going good and apart from high level training at IHAA, I also had my official first game since I am back here in January after 2 friendly matches. Next Sunday we also have another important game and I am really looking forward and pumped up for it. Next week also a lot of the students will be going abroad on a ski trip but I am staying back in the school and we are having a different week here but it will sure be a fun one.
Lastly but not least, I know that the club especially the Ladies 1st Division Team will be having some changes but I am sure that they will continue to grow together and help each other out in their tasks and follow on the previous things that they have learned. On a personal point of view, I am also happy to be shortlisted for the Gieh l-iSport Malti through MHA together with official Alan Grima. This is a huge step for me and will try to continue on climbing these kind of steps one at a time. This would not have been possible without the help of the MHA itself who backed me up, the Sports Scholarship body for giving me the opportunity to be here in Denmark, Lara who has always supported me and my family and her family who in their own way have always set up a fire in me to continue and work hard in whatever way I had decided. Lastly but also mostly, I would like to thank my brother and mentor Joseph Tanti for always believing in me and giving me and this club that he founded all his best knowledge, experience and love. Surely his work can be surely seen and this is not only from a personal point of view but also from a Maltese Handball Association member.
This was it for this week and hope that you can have a good week-end and rest of the week where you can bring me some happy updates from our rock 🙂 From my end in a few weeks or months time I can also have some new and different activities going on and it would be great to see how you would my new stuff will be received.
Take care and Best Regards
The Men European Championships have offered us some amazing encounters in the Preliminary Round and with the competition advancing to the Main Round we take a look at the amazing championships so far.
Hosts Denmark passed from group A with an unbeaten record, overcoming the opposition of Austria and Macedonia who still go through and Czech Republic who returned home with only a draw to their account. Spain, Iceland and Hungary go through group B. Spain were unbeaten in this group. The group also saw Norway play some great handball but their inconsistency through the games cost them some points against Hungary and Iceland. Hungary were unlucky to loose Laslo Nagy before the competition and their performances in attack lacked his flare. Croatia had no problem to top group D followed by Sweden and Belarus. Group C was the most interesting with France winning all their games. Poland, Russia and Serbia all won a game each and this put all the three on two points each. With the goal difference rule coming into effect, Serbia were sent packing and this was the first major surprise of the tournament. Serbia were one of the favourites to challenge for gold after that in 2012 they were second.
The competition now proceeds with the two groups of the main round. In group 1 there is Denmark and Spain who are favourites to advance to the semi-finals, even though Iceland can surprise Spain into the semi-finals. In group 2, France and Croatia are favourites to go to the next stage, though Poland can be revived by the great comeback they have managed against Belarus.
Our own Daniel Tanti was present at the championships as he was keeping statistics for the EHF. He was following group C, the one who had, France, Poland, Russia and Serbia, in the Preliminary Round and now he will follow the Main Group 2, who is being played in Aarhus where Daniel is playing handball.
Currently Serbia is in the spotlight of the handball world as the 21st Women World Championships are being held in the ex-Yugoslavian state.
During the first part of the championships, we have noticed the different styles of the national teams from the different continental federations. The European countries have been more tactical in attack while opting more for aggressive 6/0 defences. The Brazilians, who are the most prominent South American representative, play close to the European style, while the Asian national teams play a very aggressive and deep 3/2/1 defence with more basic fast actions in attack.
After the Preliminary round, the four teams that qualified from the four groups, proceed to the eight finals while the two teams failing to proceed from their respective group, play in the Presidents’ Cup for placement. In the Presidents’ Cup, Algeria, Tunis, China and Australia managed to beat their opponents. In the eight finals, Germany beat Angola and France beat Japan by 8 goals. Poland edged Romania in a closed encounter with 2 goals after the latter were leading 13-10 in the half time. In a very closed encounter, Denmark overcame a stern Montenegro side by the lone goal for a score of 22-21.
Poland and Denmark will be meeting France and Germany respectively in the first two quarter finals while one will be expecting Norway, Brazil, Hungary and Serbia to join them. Denmark and Norway are the favourites for the final. Hungary, with the core players from Gyor are also good contenders with Serbia and Brazil, series contenders to be a surprise.