Big leaders testing each other
HC Dinamo Minsk and HC Meshkov Brest hold first head-to-head match of the national championship
By Dmitry Komashko
The confrontation of the two clubs has long become a hallmark of Belarusian handball, and with the growth of ambition of the teams on the European circuit, their personal meetings are attracting more and more attention from the fans.
The Minsk team started successfully in the Group Stage of the Champions League, defeating the Macedonian team, Vardar, at home. The Brest players do not hide their championship ambitions in the Balkan SEHA League, and both clubs declare their wish for a championship title. Therefore, it is not surprising that it was really hot on the parquet of Brest’s Victoria Sports Centre right up to the last minute. HC Dinamo were the deserved winners. The wards of the Croatian trainer, Boris Denič, who took over the role of head coach from Sergey Bebeshko, looked better, more reliable and more accurate than their rivals. However, the defeat for Brest, even from their main rivals, was not a catastrophe at all. With the introduction of a play-off stage in the Championship of Belarus, Alexander Meshkov, the main patron of Brest club, thus created a ‘safety zone’ for the team. A single head-to-head meeting during the season does not decide anything now. Of course, if the Brest players lost all their matches to Dinamo, they would have to make some serious changes. The important thing for the Brest team is not to drop to fourth place and thereby meet with Dinamo who are already in the semi-final. Right now, both leaders are concentrated on the Balkan SEHA League and Champions League.
The next tests in the European arena were not long in coming. On Sunday, the Brest club continued with a match in the Balkan Championship against the leaders of the tournament, the Croatian team Zagreb, whilst on October 10th Dinamo will play against Swiss team, Wacker Thun, in the Minsk Sports Palace.