This weekend’s handball action sees Super 8 bottom side Liverpool HC attempt to pick up their first win of the season against fellow strugglers Cambridge.
The hapless Merseysiders are yet to pick a point in England’s top handball competition and have a total of -81 goal difference (not as amazing an achievement as you’d think in the high-velocity world of handball). Having played one game more against seventh side Cambridge, Liverpool should have the ideal chance to pick up some points and bridge the gap, but history this season doesn’t favour them. In five rounds since September, Liverpool have failed to score more than twenty goals in a league match and have proved to be the championship’s frequent whipping boys. Cambridge, on the other hand, won their first game of the season away to Manchester, but quickly slipped away. In contrast to Liverpool, Cambridge are yet to score below twenty goals and I can’t see that changing on Sunday.
Before all that, Chester-based Deva make the trip down to London for the only Saturday game, perhaps worrying that they won’t be able to stop the Great Danes from reaching the halfway point unbeaten. London have won six out of six but Deva may be able to take confidence from the fact that, other than their opening thrashing of Liverpool, London have always had close matches, the most they’ve won by is nine. Still, a win’s a win and they’ll be hoping to open the gap from second place.
Hoping to stop that from happening is Salford, who get to host a Ruislip Eagles side narrowly defeated by London last week. Just one place behind the home side, Ruislip have a real chance of upsetting the odds. An away win wouldn’t really help either side break down the determined London.
In a weekend filled with tense rivalries all over the table, Manchester cross over the Pennines to face Leeds Hornets. In the only fixture that sees the home side lower in the table, neither team have consistent form going into this match with two wins and three losses apiece. With home advantage and a run of two wins on the trot, I’d bet on the Hornets to make it three.