Dublin International Take Gold After Epic Battle With Astra

Saturday April 26th and Sunday April 27th saw the climax of the Irish Olympic Handball Association’s Senior Men’s as the Final 4 Tournament took place in Gormanstown College.

Saturday saw top seeds Astra HC take on Lughnasa HC while seconds seeds Dublin International took on Dublin City HC.

Both semi finals went true to form as Dublin International progressed with 10 goals to spare in the end 30 – 20 though the teams were tied 14 all after 30 minutes, the second semi was a closer affair with Astra taking victory in the last 5 minutes with a 33 – 30 scoreline.

Both semi final results ensured a repeat of last years final but this time Astra would be experiencing it as defending champions while DI would be battling to reclaim what they think is rightfully theirs.

With Astra completing the regular season undefeated and Dublin International only losing on the last weekend most observers agreed it would be a close final.

The match was a frenetic affair with Astra settling into their rhythm the quicker of the 2 and at half time they had an 6 goal lead 18 -12 but this was tempered with the fact that their no. 8 had received a straight red card midway through the half.

In the second half DI drew on all of their experience and the size of their squad and slowly chipped away at Astra’s lead, Astra’s Thomas Vit was causing DI problems while DI’s Alejandro Gonzalez found his scoring range in the last 30 minutes. The gap grew smaller as the time remaining got smaller and the tension was palpable in the hall. A flurry of 2 minutes suspensions ensured plenty of space on the court for attackers to drive into. When the final whistle blew both teams had given everything they had but it was to be the men in black’s day as DI won on a scoreline of 31 – 29. Few people before the match thought the 2013 final between these 2 teams could be topped for drama but the 2014 version brought it to a whole new level,

Congratulations to Dublin International HC and hard luck to Astra HC on the almost perfect league season.

Earlier on Sunday Lughnasa HC took bronze after defeating Dublin City. Lughnasa started well but let Dublin back in to the game and at half time it was level at 11 all. However the Tallaght men gathered themselves together and ran out 29 – 22 winners over a brave Dublin City team.

Well done to both teams on a very good season.

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