Brentwood Handball Club in the EHA Super 8 League Promotion Play-Off!

On Saturday, 6th April, many BHC fans and players' relatives made their way to SportHouse in Barking to watch the 1/4 final play-off match, a milestone in the Club's history. The opponents, the winners of the North West EHA Development League, were the NEM Hawks from Manchester.

BHC had a fantastic start, with Khalid opening the score of what was to be a very exciting first-half. The opponents soon equalised and went on to score two more goals bringing the score to 3-1 in their favour. Khalid replied with a goal and two other goals by Chris LJ in quick succession put BHC ahead once more. NEM Hawks equalised yet again, but the spectators watched Khalid restore BHC's lead with another great goal. The opponents, however, fought back hard and soon were leading by a three goal difference (8-5). BHC's fire and fighting spirit, however, produced four great goals without reply, and soon BHC were again in front on the score board. But the Hawks were determined to put in a great fight and equalised yet again. BHC replied with another goal from Khalid just to see the Hawks equalising again. Chris LJ then put his team ahead by scoring BHC's 11th goal of the match, but the neck-and-neck first half came to an end with two goals from the opponents. The half-time score was NEM Hawks - BHC 13:11.

BHC supporters were delighted for being rewarded with such an exciting and entertaining first half by their team.

Unfortunately, the half-time break seemed to have substantially cooled down the Brentwood 'Fire', as BHC were not able to score a goal in the first ten minutes of the second half and consequently saw themselves trailing by 11-18. Khalid re-opened BHC's score, but as perfectly valid goals from Philippe were disallowed by the referees, it began to look as if it was not meant to be BHC's day. Despite many great saves from David, and Duncan scoring three goals adding to Khalid's four in the second half, NEM Hawks won by 27-18.

After the match, BHC's players, the coach, and the supporters were very disappointed with the team's performance in the second-half but, overall, everyone agreed that the S8L promotion play-off match was a great experience for team and Club.

Coach Hans-Jörg said: "This was a very valuable experience for the team. The neck-and-neck first half clearly demonstrated what our team is capable of and it proved that we can match teams playing at a higher handball level. Next season we will be back- stronger and more determined than ever!" 

The team on the day was:
David Hendrick in goal,  Chris Baker (1),  Chris Littlejohn (3), Duncan Whitfield (3), Etienne Szomonyak,  Ian Weir, Khalid Amrane (10), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori, Rob Broad and Rob Grant (1).