The University of Huddersfield’s handball team exceeded all expectations by finishing in the top six of 24 qualifiers at the University Handball finals in London.

The team’s first game was against Southampton, and Huddersfield got into their stride early and established a 5-0 lead.

Southampton reduced the gap to three goals but the final score of 11-6 was a fair reflection of Huddersfield’s superiority.

Huddersfield kept up their good form with a victory over University College London 8-6, a win over Brighton 13-7 and a triumph in their last game of the day against Essex, who were last year’s losing finalists, by 10-7.

After the first day of competition Huddersfield were one of only three unbeaten teams in the men’s competition.

Expectations were high as the second day of competition started and Huddersfield faced their last group game against Dundee.

University of Huddersfield handball team reach national finals in London against Southampton, Dundee, Essex, Brighton and University College London  

The game was a tight low scoring affair, dominated by two strong defences and Huddersfield lost 6-9 to the eventual bronze medal winners, but still qualified for the last 16.

In the first round of the knockout stage in which Huddersfield faced the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic and the game ended 7-7 which meant a ‘best of five’ penalty shoot-out, which Huddersfield won 3-1.

In the quarter-finals they faced a strong Loughborough team and though Huddersfield’s defence was strong they failed to convert a number of scoring opportunities and ended the game losing 3-8 to the eventual runners=up.

The final game was a play-off to determine ranking for teams finishing fifth to eighth, which pitted Huddersfield against Nottingham, who have the oldest University handball club.

It was another tight contest which was in doubt right to the last minute when Huddersfield managed to establish a two-goal advantage and run out 9-7 winners.

The official final rankings are yet to be published, but whether it ends up as fifth or sixth, Huddersfield are now on the handball map.

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