sport - CREDIT Jo Brough - handballBrunel University Handball Club women’s team travelled to Sutton Bonnington on the 15th of February for the final qualification round of the ABUHC National Championships.

Having secured three wins from three in the previous round BUHC were confident of securing the top three finish required to reach the finals. However, they got off to a slow start losing 10-7 to an unfancied Warwick side in a game where nothing seemed to be going right, with all players making unforced errors and missing simple opportunities.

A few hours later Brunel had the chance to make amends for their poor start to the day by facing a Bangor side sitting at the foot of the table. However, another slow start meant Bangor pulled ahead but once the girls found their feet the victory was never in doubt. The final score 10-4 to Brunel. The victory secured Brunel women second spot and a place in the finals, with third placed Nottingham unable to overturn them due to Brunel having beaten them in the previous round. The last game of the day would decide top spot and the all-important first seeding for the finals. Brunel would face their long-established rivals Middlesex, who last year finished 4th overall.

However, Middlesex proved too strong for BUHC, despite them losing one of their star players to a broken wrist during the game too many suspensions for the Brunel players meant they were unable to maintain the pace, eventually losing 4-10. Despite the two losses on the day Brunel safely secured the win needed to ensure a second seed in the national championship finals. Their efforts mean they will be seeded ahead of the likes of Loughborough and Nottingham, who won silver and bronze last year, meaning a high finish is looking very possible for BUHC on the 7th/8th of March in Birmingham.


Josephine Brough