Handball: Challenge Cup-Winning start for reigning champions


Marie-Claire Chetty led Mont Fleuri Storm to victoryIn the finals on Sunday, Mont Fleuri Storm defeated Teens 36-20, while Super 8 were victorious on a 41-34 score against Durantha Brothers.

Nine teams – four women and five men – took part in the competition played on a knockout basis and which served as a warm-up for the new season.

With only four teams, the women’s competition started with the semifinals. Mont Fleuri Storm eliminated Arsu 30-25 to book their place in the final against Teens who thrashed APC Sisters 26-7 in the other semifinal match.

In the final on Sunday, Teens, who were without injured key player Gracie Johnson, were no match for the more-experienced Mont Fleuri Storm who led 21-8 at half-time.

Although they improved their game in the second period after receiving some good instructions from coach Emmanuel Larue, Teens still trailed Mont Fleuri Storm on points to lose the final 36-20.

Mont Fleuri Storm’s duo of Marie-Claire Chetty and Leona Zacek and Teens’ Christelle Sedgwick were the game’s joint-top scorers with 10 goals apiece.

In the men’s tournament which featured five teams, Super 8 played two matches before reaching the final. In their first match they eliminated AC Brothers 44-12, while Young Eagles were their next opponents. Super 8 won the match 41-34 to advance to the final where they met Durantha Brothers who had eliminated PLS Hurricanes 39-33 in the other semifinal.

After losing the first half 17-19, the boys of coach Danny Philoé redeemed themselves in the second to outscore their opponents 24-15 and win the match 41-34.

Super 8’s Reynold Nicette was the match’s top scorer with 12 goals, while Jason Fred and Roberto Esther finished as Durantha Brothers’ leading scorers with 10 goals apiece.

Super 8’s Reynold Nicette (no. 12) goes for goal

The Challenge Cup tournament will be followed by the two SHF curtain-raiser cup matches on Saturday February 18 at the Palais des Sports. The curtain-raiser cup matches are disputed by the previous year’s league and cup winners.

The women’s match is between reigning league and cup champions Mont Fleuri Storm and Royal Queens (formerly Arsu) who finished as runners-up in both competitions. Mont Fleuri Storm easily swept past APC Sisters 34-19 at the Mont Fleuri court in last year’s game to defend the title they had won in 2010.

Last year’s league winners Super 8 will clash with defending SHF Cup winners PLS Hurricanes in the men’s encounter. After edging Durantha Brothers 47-46 in last year’s match, Super 8 will put their title on the line.

R. D.

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