Dublin International HC All Ireland Champion 2014

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Dublin International Handball Club takes the Title back in a nail biter against Astra

DIHC trophy 2014
Dublin International trophy 2014

Gormastown College, County Meath, was the venue of All Ireland Handball Championship Final4 Tournament on 26th and 27th of April. It was to be contested by four Dublin teams.
In the first Semi-final, Dublin International HC beat Dublin City Handball by ten goals thanks to superb second hand performance. Last year’s Champions, Astra HC overcame improving Lughnasa HC side by only three, even though it looked at times that upset was on the cards. This meant it would be number one and two seeds fighting for gold.
After Lughnasa comfortably won the third place, DI HC and Astra took the stage. The game started with high intensity and sparks flying on both sides. Porous defences on each side let 5 a piece early on. Not even a quarter of an hour passed and we had a first controversy. After only 13 minutes Astra’s Zsolt Harta stayed lying on the ground clutching his face. The refereeing duo saw nothing but a free in. Harta, annoyed by this decision shot a close range ball into DI HC Captain, Tomas Martinonis, with clear intent to injure his opponent. Luckily the shot did not cause much damage. Zsolt received his marching orders straight away and his last move in the final was to disgrace himself.
Astra upped the tempo in the second part of first half and with some good defending and long range shots from Tomas Vit, kept increasing the lead. Halftime score 18 – 12 to Astra promised a repeat of the last league game when Astra easily overpowered the Internationals.

Dublin International HC came out second half a different looking team. From the starting whistle, they looked to have more intensity, more aggression and concentration, while Astra looked like the team that was dwindling in power and stamina. Some fantastic defending led by DI HC captain Tomas Martinonis produced few quick counters by Alex Gonzales, Marian Celko and Dragos Busuioc who clinically converted. Attackingly The West Dublin outfit produced some class moves linking the back line with Jan Complak on the line. If he didn’t score, he earned a penalty.
Ten minutes into the second half, it was only plus two to Astra and Dublin International supporters begun to believe and produce some noise in the stands. Minute by minute DI HC simply outplayed their opponents and started scoring for fun. Five minutes to go it looked all over with DI HC four goals ahead and the initiative. A bad substitution mistake and some dubious referees’ decisions almost brought Astra back into the game. For two minutes it was five Astra players against five DI’s. With Complak’s third suspension and disparity in numbers on the pitch, it was entertainment galore for the neutral spectator, but a heart attack for the coaches. DI HC even managed through Bartosz Romanowski to score with only three players on the court. When Daniel Gill, Dragos Busuioc and Amalric Brugerolle came back on the court and the score board still showed plus three for DI, with only seconds left the celebrations could begin.

Final score: Astra HC 29 – Dublin International HC 31
DI HC: Loubatiere 9 saves, Fredine 4 saves, Dauzet, Gonzales 9, Martinonis 3, Gil 1, Complak 6, Celko 3, Grassl, Karpenko, Molloy, Petersen, Busuioc 4, Brugerolle, Dolan, Romanowski 4
Tournament MVP: Tomas Martinonis

DI HC Awards
Later that night, Dublin International Handball Club held its Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony. Alejandro Gonzales picked up DI HC Young Star of the Year Award; Lucy Kuznetsova got Ladies Player of the Year, while Marian Celko was crowned the best among the men.

Dublin International Handball Club wishes to thank all of our supporters and to congratulate Astra HC and Lughnasa HC for winning the silver and bronze.