15th October 2018
The road to the England Handball Cup Finals began this weekend with opening fixtures in the men’s National Cup.
The closest result from the weekend was Coventry Sharks against London GD II. The Midlanders prevailed 28-24, and afterwards credited the input they received from coaches during a time-out. Sharks will play NEM Hawks, last year's finalists, in the next round.
University of Oxford look like they may repeat their impressive cup runs of the previous two years after defeating University of Bath 32-7 at home. Oxford were 2018 quarter-finalists and 2017 semi-finalists. The students will face Warrington Wolves next in what will be a replay of their quarter-final in the 2018 tournament. On that occasion, Wolves prevailed by the smallest possible margin, 20-19.
Liverpool travelled to Buckinghamshire to play Bucks Bullets, formerly Oly Cats, and came away 32-14 winners. Liverpool will take on Olympia next.
Reading Lions played Chelsea at the Edge Leisure Centre, Haslemere. The two teams are yet to play each other in National League South this season, but in this cup match Chelsea were 45-23 winners. Cambridge await Chelsea in round two.
In the final National Cup match of the opening weekend, Essex Hurricanes were defeated 20-15 by Islington despite leading 8-6 at half-time. Islington face Premier Handball League club Nottingham in the next round.