The Norwegian team of Kristiansand won Sunday its first title in the Women’s Handball Champions League by beating the French team of Brest 34 to 28.
The handball players of Brest lost in the final of the Champions League, beaten by the Norwegian Kristiansand 34 to 28, Sunday, May 30 in Budapest.
Tired by the huge battle led the day before to eliminate the Hungarians of Gyor, three-time title holders (2017, 2018, 2019), in the semis, the Brestoises were always behind, for the first final of a French women’s handball club in the Champions League.
The players of Laurent Bezeau, who was leading his last game on a coaching bench before taking up duties at the National Sports Agency (ANS), could not do anything against Norwegians who have played very little in recent months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and who were carried by the left back and center half Henny Reistad, named at just 22 years best youngster of the C1 season.
Henny Reistad was unstoppable, both in the semis (10 goals, all in the game) against CSKA Moscow and in the final against Brest (12). The Norwegian will go to Denmark and Esbjerg after the Olympic Games this summer.
In this final which had a false air of a remake of the Euro-2020 final – five French vice-champions of Europe in December in Denmark play in Brest and seven Norwegian champions of Europe play in Kristiansand -, the teammates of Heidi Loke took the best start (9-4, 10th).
New cycle next season
The heroines of the day before, starting with the goalkeepers Cléopatre Darleux and Sandra Toft, did not find the solution to the Norwegian attacking game, and the defense put to work for seventy minutes the day before against Györ appeared blunt and much more porous than in the semi-final (32 goals conceded against 23 Saturday).
Brest found itself once again in the position of the team playing away, because the Hungarian supporters had chosen their camp with Kristiansand, whose several players like Nora Mork or Heidi Loke have long worn the jersey of Gyor.
The second half was a demonstration of the talent of Reistad, the new nugget of the Norwegian handball, who kept on cleaning the skies of Toft and Darleux.
The European adventure of the BBH ends on this second place, and the French hand will have to wait a little longer before having the female equivalent of Montpellier, the first and only French club winner of the Champions League for men in 2003 and 2018.
For Brest, it is now time to prepare a new sporting cycle, since Pablo Morel will succeed Laurent Bezeau on the coaching bench from this summer.
At the same time, Bella Gullden will join the ranks of the new European champions of Kristiansand in the position of center-half, while the left back Ana Gros will join CSKA Moscow in their quest for a first Champions League.
The springtime of the French handball remains positive, since the final lost by Brest in C1, the first for a French women’s club, comes three weeks after the coronation of Nantes in the European League, the new little sister of the C1.