Peterborough 23 - 23 BHC

On Saturday, 7th December BHC travelled to Cranfield to play their away match against Peterborough.

Like Brentwood's previous match, this one was very close throughout.

With a reduced squad due to injuries, but up against a 14-head strong team, Brentwood were determined to play well and do their best.

BHC opened the score with a goal from Khalid, but soon the opponents equalised and took the lead. With the score at 6-5, Rob Grant netted in the equaliser but Peterborough managed to get ahead once again. Hans-Jörg, who joined his players in court for the second time this season, equalised 7-7 halfway through the first half. A penalty converted by Remy put Brentwood in the lead for the remaining of the first half with goals from Khalid, Remy, Philippe and Rob Grant. Half-time result was 10-12.

Peterborough started the second half well and scored 3 goals without reply due to BHC's rushed attacks that resulted in missed chances. Rob Grant equalised and Remy put the team again in front, and from then on the lead remained by one goal difference with Peterborough always managing to equalise. Some individual play took over and coach Hans-Jörg called a time-out to instruct the team to play collectively and with longer attacks. The second half also saw Ian and Rob Broad getting on the score sheet and good saves from Connor. Two and half minutes before the end though, BHC were trailing by 2 goals, but Brentwood's fighting spirit kicked in once again and BHC managed to draw level. The final score was 23-23.

After the match, coach Hans-Jörg said: "It was a good and intense match between two teams that never gave up. Naturally, we would have preferred to take home a victory, but all things considered it was a positive result in the end".

BHC's next match will be on Saturday, 14th December, a home match against Norfolk Dragons at the SportHouse.

The team on the day was:
Connor Bennet in goal, Hans-Jörg Küller Rabaça (1), Khalid Amrane (8), Phil Duffield, Philippe Kouessan-Ettori (1) Remy Turc (7), Rob Broad (1), Rob Grant (3) and Ian Weir (2).


Essex Blades 27 - 26 Brentwood HC

BHC played their away match against the Essex Blades on Saturday, 23rd November.

It turned out to be a very close match throughout. The teams were at the same level and both teams displayed some good handball.

Essex Blades opened the score, but Brentwood soon drew level and went on to take the lead. The opponents, however, quickly drew level and were soon leading throughout most of the first-half with, mainly, a one-goal lead. In the last ten minutes of the first-half Brentwood got in front and the half-time result was 13:14.

BHC started the second half full of energy and determination, scoring 3 goals without reply. Brentwood were then clearly dominating the match and went on to even have a four-goal lead. Mark, who played for the first time this season, saved two penalties and the match victory seemed by then to be going Brentwood's way. However, halfway through the second half, and despite the coach urging the team to keep the ball for longer periods, some individual play took over, resulting in rushed attacks that saw several missed chances from Brentwood. As a result, Essex Blades managed to come back and regained the lead. Despite Brentwood's best efforts in the last minutes of the game, Essex Blades kept their lead until the end winning by just one goal. The final score was 27:26.

After the match, coach Hans-Jörg, who also played for a few minutes, said: "It was a good match between two teams that are at the same level. I am, however, very disappointed with the result today. We should have won this match - we had it in our hands and threw it away. Clearly, there are areas we need to improve and I hope some lessons were learned here today."

BHC's next match will be on Saturday, 7th December, an away match against Peterbourough HC.

The team on the day was:
Mark Cory in goal, Etienne Szomonyak, Félix Branchu (3), Hans-Jörg Küller Rabaça (1), Khalid Amrane (2), Phil Duffield, Remy Turc (15), Rob Broad (2) and Rob Grant (3).


Cambridge HC 31 - 26 Brentwood HC

On Sunday 17th November, BHC travelled to Cambridge to play their first away match of the season.

It was not a good start for Brentwood with Cambridge scoring 3 goals without reply. Félix then opened BHC's score by converting a penalty, quickly followed by a goal from Khalid, but the opponents soon scored two goals in a row putting the result at 5-3. From then on, Cambridge kept an average two-goal lead, despite good offensive play and the determination of Brentwood to draw the score level with nice goals from Etienne, Remy, Rob Grant, Chris Baker and Khalid and even a fantastic goal from Rob Broad on a fast break. The half-time result was 14:12.

Cambridge started the second half like they started the first but Chris Baker quickly restored the two-goal difference. Félix converted yet another penalty in the first ten minutes of the second half and all BHC players fought hard to draw level, playing well and full of fighting spirit. Their individual and team efforts paid off, as Brentwood managed to draw the score level from 23:20 to 23:23 after a goal from Khalid and two from Remy. The result was 24:23 when, for some unexplainable reason, the score was changed to 24:22 and subsequently the match was interrupted for a few minutes. This interruption was a terrible blow for Brentwood, coming as it did at the time when BHC was really strong and yet another coming back towards victory was realistically in sight.

With BHC's rhythm broken, the opponents quickly increased their advantage and there was more bad news to come as the Brentwood's captain got injured. Despite a last effort from Brentwood, time ran out and Chris Baker scored the last goal of the match setting the final score 31:26.

After the match, coach Hans-Jörg said: "I am very disappointed. We could and should have won this match, but today our defence was not working as well as in previous matches. On the positive side, I was pleased with the team's efforts and determination never to give up. We always believed we could come back, but the interruption after we had been subtracted one goal came at the worst possible time for us."

BHC's next match is on Sunday, 23rd November, in the SportHouse against the Essex Blades.

The team on the day was:
Connor Bennet in goal, Chris Baker (4), Etienne Szomonyak (1), Félix Branchu (7), Ian Weir, Khalid Amrane (6), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori, Phil Duffield, Remy Turc (5), Rob Broad (1) and Rob Grant (2).


Brentwood HC 36 - 32 Norwich HC match report

On Sunday 10th November, BHC played another home match - this time against Norwich HC.

Norwich opened the score after a missed chance by BHC but Khalid soon equalised for Brentwood, followed by a goal from Ian making it 2-1. The lead, however, did not last as the opponents quickly drew level and then regained the lead. Félix, who made his debut on the day as a BHC player, scored his first goal for Brentwood bringing the result to 5-6; immediately afterwards a fast break resulting in a nice goal from Chris Baker drew the score level once again. From then on though, Norwich led all the time but only by one or two goals. However, towards the end of the first half the opponents extended their lead and BHC finished the first half trailing by 5 goals (12:17).

During the half-time break Coach Hans-Jörg instructed his players on a different defence system, especially aiming to neutralise the most creative player of Norwich HC.

The second half started with yet another goal from Norwich, extending their lead to 6 goals. Soon though, the new strategy together with Brentwood's strong fighting spirit, saw BHC coming back into the game through good play and some very nice goals. Midway through the second half Brentwood had regained the lead of the match and kept it until the end. The opponents saw one of their players losing his cool and being sent off the court with a red card. Due to this, the match was interrupted for a few minutes but after the restart Chris Baker went on extending BHC's lead. With goals also from Khalid, Félix, Rob Grant, Ian and Philippe, paired with good offensive play, Brentwood went on to win the match. Khalid also converted two penalties and was BHC's top scorer on the day, followed by Chris Baker and Félix. The final score was 36:32.

After the match players, coach and fans were happy and very encouraged by another fantastic come-back, this time victorious. Coach Hans-Jörg said: "Once again, I am very pleased with all my players and with their determination, the team effort and fighting spirit they displayed on the court. Well done to all."

BHC's first away match is on Sunday, 17th November, in Cambridge.

The team on the day was:
Connor Bennet in goal, Chris Baker (7), Etienne Szomonyak, Félix Branchu (6), Ian Weir (5), Khalid Amrane (12), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori (2), Phil Duffield, and Rob Grant (4).

Brentwood HC 17 - 19 Cranfield HC

On Sunday 20th October, the BHC men's team made their way to the Sporthouse to host Cranfield University in their second match of the season.

After two victories in a row, BHC were confident in their abilities, yet well aware that Cranfield, being traditionally a very strong opponent, could pose some difficulties.

Indeed, Cranfield started well, taking advantage of two missed chances by BHC to open the score on the day, and were soon leading by 2 goals to 0. Remy, who made his debut on the day as a BHC player in the Development League, came off the bench and immediately opened the Brentwood score. However, due to lack of concentration and Cranfield's quick thinking, the opponent kept extending their lead and, despite 3 goals from Philippe and 1 goal from Chris Baker, BHC finished the first half trailing by 8 goals (5:13).

During the half-time break the Team regrouped, kept calm and kept the determination to fight until the end - and BHC went into the second half full of team spirit and the desire to do well.

Remy opened the score for the team but, ten minutes into the second half, Brentwood were still behind by 11 goals (7:18). However, BHC's belief and persistence finally paid off when the tide started turning with 3 goals from Khalid and 2 from Dimitri without reply from Cranfield. Faced with an offensive and efficient Brentwood team as well as great saves from Connor, Cranfield did not score for more than 15 minutes.The visitors then started losing their cool and saw several of their players being given many two-minute suspensions by the referees.

At this point the Brentwood fans were on their feet cheering with excitement, as Team and fans were now firmly believing that the victory was still possible.

In fact, the last ten minutes of the match were a fine display of handball and team spirit by Brentwood, and their good play and efforts from all players were rewarded with goals scored by Philippe, Remy and Khalid. But at the end BHC ran out of time to close the advantage that they so carelessly allowed the visitors to gain in the first half. The final score was 17:19.

After the match, and despite the disappointment of running out of time, players, coach and fans were quite happy with the team's efforts during the second half and were very encouraged by their performance late in the match and the great fight against a strong opponent.

Coach Hans-Jörg said: "Today Brentwood proved to have the special hunger that is needed to be successful. Naturally, there is still plenty of room for improvement but it's only the beginning of the season. Although I am disappointed for losing the match, I am very happy with our spectacular come-back and I'm really pleased with all my players."

BHC are now looking forward to their next home match on Sunday, 10th November which again will take place in the SportHouse. The visitors will be Norwich HC and the throw-off time is 12.30.

The team on the day was:
Connor Bennet in goal, Chris Baker (1), Dimitri Amard (2), Etienne Szomonyak, Ian Weir, Khalid Amrane (4), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori (5), Remy Turc (5) Rob Broad and Rob Grant.

Brentwood HC 36 - 17 Ipswich HC Match report

Brentwood HC 36 - 17 Ipswich HC

On Sunday 13th October, the BHC men's team played their first match of the season in the East Regional Development League. The opponents were Ipswich HC and the venue was the SportHouse in Barking, Dagenham - BHC's home venue this season.

After their victory over Newham Flames in a friendly match just six days before (27 - 25), Brentwood were confident and fully determined to start the League well. They lived up to their objectives and rewarded their fans with a great match and fine performances of all BHC players on the day.

Chris Baker opened the score setting the team off to a fine display of handball and team spirit. With two goals each from Khalid and Rob Grant, ten minutes into the game BHC was already leading 5-2. A fast break from the visitors saw them reducing their deficit, but Rob Broad extended BHC's lead with a great goal quickly followed by a fast break which resulted in a goal from Philippe, the Captain. In the last ten minutes of the first half Brentwood inflicted a spectacular partial of 6-1 with well placed shots from Rob Broad, Dimitri, Khalid and Philippe, ensuring a comfortable lead for BHC at half-time (17:8).

The second half started like the first one, with a goal from Chris Baker quickly followed by another one from Khalid. Ipswich tried hard to stop the Brentwood Fire, but Connor was outstanding throughout the match and kept making some stunning saves. BHC court players also kept confronting the visitors with fast-paced play, fantastic individual performances and good understanding amongst the players resulting in wonderful goals and lovely moves which were great to watch and delighted the fans who made their way to the SportHouse. Khalid converted two penalties in the second half and he and Rob Grant were BHC's top scorers of the match. They were closely followed by their team mates in a match that saw all players performing extremely well. The final score was 36:17 for Brentwood HC.

After the match, coach Hans-Jörg said: "On court today I saw a highly motivated and disciplined Brentwood Team, full of fire and team spirit - always a winning combination. I am extremely pleased with the performance of all my players in a match that was truly nice to watch and set the level for us to build on throughout the season."

BHC are now looking forward to their next home match on Sunday, 20th October against Cranfield which will take place in the SportHouse with throw-off at 12.00 noon.

The team on the day was:
Connor Bennet in goal, Chris Baker (5), Dimitri Amard (6), Etienne Szomonyak, Khalid Amrane (8), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori (6), Rob Broad (3) and Rob Grant (8).


Brentwood Handball Club in the EHA Super 8 League Promotion Play-Off!

On Saturday, 6th April, many BHC fans and players' relatives made their way to SportHouse in Barking to watch the 1/4 final play-off match, a milestone in the Club's history. The opponents, the winners of the North West EHA Development League, were the NEM Hawks from Manchester.

BHC had a fantastic start, with Khalid opening the score of what was to be a very exciting first-half. The opponents soon equalised and went on to score two more goals bringing the score to 3-1 in their favour. Khalid replied with a goal and two other goals by Chris LJ in quick succession put BHC ahead once more. NEM Hawks equalised yet again, but the spectators watched Khalid restore BHC's lead with another great goal. The opponents, however, fought back hard and soon were leading by a three goal difference (8-5). BHC's fire and fighting spirit, however, produced four great goals without reply, and soon BHC were again in front on the score board. But the Hawks were determined to put in a great fight and equalised yet again. BHC replied with another goal from Khalid just to see the Hawks equalising again. Chris LJ then put his team ahead by scoring BHC's 11th goal of the match, but the neck-and-neck first half came to an end with two goals from the opponents. The half-time score was NEM Hawks - BHC 13:11.

BHC supporters were delighted for being rewarded with such an exciting and entertaining first half by their team.

Unfortunately, the half-time break seemed to have substantially cooled down the Brentwood 'Fire', as BHC were not able to score a goal in the first ten minutes of the second half and consequently saw themselves trailing by 11-18. Khalid re-opened BHC's score, but as perfectly valid goals from Philippe were disallowed by the referees, it began to look as if it was not meant to be BHC's day. Despite many great saves from David, and Duncan scoring three goals adding to Khalid's four in the second half, NEM Hawks won by 27-18.

After the match, BHC's players, the coach, and the supporters were very disappointed with the team's performance in the second-half but, overall, everyone agreed that the S8L promotion play-off match was a great experience for team and Club.

Coach Hans-Jörg said: "This was a very valuable experience for the team. The neck-and-neck first half clearly demonstrated what our team is capable of and it proved that we can match teams playing at a higher handball level. Next season we will be back- stronger and more determined than ever!" 

The team on the day was:
David Hendrick in goal,  Chris Baker (1),  Chris Littlejohn (3), Duncan Whitfield (3), Etienne Szomonyak,  Ian Weir, Khalid Amrane (10), Philippe Kouessan-Ettori, Rob Broad and Rob Grant (1).