Brest and Jičín already through
The reigning Czech champions and the traditional Belarusian club are first on the list of teams to progress to the Men's EHF Cup Qualification Round 2 after both HBC Jičín and HC Meshkov Brest easily won both legs of the first round last weekend.
Out of 20 teams of the Qualification Round 1 only 14 played over the weekend and six more will join the competition in the coming week.
Impressive debut for Czech champions
For the first time in their over 70 year-old history HBC Ronal Jičín entered a European club competition, but this fact hardly mattered as they overwhelmed Bulgarian outfit HC Dobrudja in their ninth consecutive continental appearance.
The hosts made a huge stride to the second round in the first leg, winning 35:15 and managed to improve on this result on Sunday with a 37:15 win.
In Brest, Belarus the home team met with some resistance mainly in the first match as Israeli runners-up Maccabi Rishon Lezion lost only just six goals (25:19). In the second leg Meshkov were more dominant winning by ten (24:14) and hinted that the team with the reputation of the richest club in Eastern Europe have high ambitions for this season.
Both qualifiers await formidable challenges in the Qualification Round 2. While Brest's next hurdle will be Permskie Medvedi, Jičín's maiden European season will continue with a much tougher task than the last one as they face Danish side Skjern.
Five more teams on track to round 2
The remaining fixtures of the weekend's schedule indicated who might join Brest, Jičín and the ten seeded teams in the next stage. In Kosovo, Austria's Bregenz Handball brought six goal lead for their return flight as they beat KH Prishtina 28:22.
Fyllingen Bergen from Norway achieved a promising 30:27 victory on the court of Estonia's Pölva Serviti and Klaipeda Dragunas managed to draw Handball Kaerjeng in Luxembourg 30:30 what gives much better prospect for Lithuanian team ahead of the second leg.
Both Sporta Hlohovec and Grundfos Tatabánya KC used home court advantage to create a comfortable eight-goal cushion as Slovakian runners-up defeated TSV Otmar St. Gallen from Switzerland 29:21 and Hungarian side beat Achilles Bocholt from Belgium 30:22.
Puna from Pölva Serviti was the top scorer of the last weekend as he scored 12 goals against Fyllingen.
Brest were towering above Maccabi. In this case Milan Djukic high above the visitors' defence.
Tatabánya jumping eight goals above of Bocholt in the first leg.
Peter Dudáš and his Hlohovec teammates cheering against St. Gallen.
The circle of joy created by Jičín players after a successful qualification through Dobrudja.
Find more details on the first leg matches here
TEXT: EHF / br