IOHA Men’s Senior League Breaks For Christmas

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DI

Dublin International

All eight teams in the IOHA Men’s Senior League have played three or four and last year’s finalist Dublin International have hit back strong with three good wins and a draw with current champions Astra, they are once again looking like very strong contenders for the league this year.

Keeping the pressure on DI are the mighty students from UCD, they have surprised the Irish handball community with the start they have had, looking back on last year’s campaign UCD have come a long way, or maybe it is the pulchritudinous Irish international Julian Eberle distracting the opposition or maybe the management skill of Alex “Not My Shoulder Again” Kulesh. The current champions Astra have also enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season with wins over UCC, DCU & a draw against DI, Andrea Ongaro’s Astra’s team will be hungry to regain their title and prove that last season’s surprise win was not a one-off.

 

Astra Champions 2012/13

Astra HC

DCU have had a mixed start with two wins and two losses. The wins came against Belfast and Lughnasa, two games where DCU have shown their very experienced team, an attribute which will be very important to them to grind out results. The Belfast lads enjoyed their first win of the season against UCC with a tight score line of 15:14. The win was a great reward for the newcomers in the league, along with fellow northerners Sperrin Spartans, who have a very inexperienced team who only started playing handball less than a year ago. The big step up was evident in their opening two games, but signs of improvement were in the most recent game against UCC, where they reached double figures for the first time in the 11:31 defeat, we’re sure the lads will keep improving in 2014.

Jump Shot Aaron Swann (Spartans)

Aaron Swann (Spartans) Jump Shot

Belfast

Belfast

UCC have the same problem as UCD and most college teams in the past, as students their time is limited with exam period, Erasmus students and student social life. Goalkeeper Kevin Galvin wrote a great piece at the start of the season highlighting these problems, if you get a chance, check it out through the link below.


UCC (Kevin Galvin)

UCC Team

UCC

Last but not least we have Lughnasa, who have shown real potential, but have yet to reach the level needed to grab a victory, having won none of their first three games, losing to DI on two occasions and DCU last weekend. They have a mix of experienced players like Alan O’Brien (Irish Captain) and young talents Jamie Warburton & Ross Grant, who together as a team they just have not clicked under the management of Tom O’Brannagain. Could it be the calm before the storm? We will have to wait until the New Year, but will be looking forward to see what happens from January onwards.

Lughnasa vs DIWho will reach the IOHA Final 4 in April? We will have to wait and see, it is too early to call at this stage, but the standings below, the latest league standing for the as of 16th December, show a very open league. Fixtures, results & live league table, also available online follow the link below.

Fixtures & Results

Christmas Break Standings

Happy Christmas to all clubs & handball friends around the world and wish you the best in the New Year from all at the IOHA, keep safe.

by Mark Ferguson