Third time lucky for Ikast
Ikast Handbold finally did it. After two years of disappointment at the EHF Finals, the Danish side defeated Thüringer HC 31:26 in the first semi-final and booked the ticket for their first-ever final.
It took some time for Ikast to get their game to the level they were throughout the season, but from the 15th minute it was their game. THC were struggling in the attack, and even though they came close at the start of the second half, Ikast’s experience and strong defence prevailed, extending their unbeaten streak to nine this season.
- Thüringer were off to a good start, leaving Ikast without a goal for the full five minutes but the furthest ahead they got was 3:1
- Jessica Ryde, the competition's most efficient goalkeeper, lived up to her reputation with six saves (60 per cent) in 20 minutes making it increasingly hard for THC to score
- both sides had nervous periods full of mistakes but THC's seven-against-six attack kept coming back at them as Ikast made a 7-0 goal run
- Annika Lott made it a three-goal game, hitting the 60-goal margin in the top scorer hunt, after THC's short comeback in the opening minutes of the second half
- Ingvild Bakkerud restored Ikast's lead and sailed with her teammates to the historic final
Jessica Ryde shines again
Ikast are extremely powerful whole season, not leaving much space to navigate. Their defence was their strongest link, conceding only 188 goals in eight matches. In the semi-final they kept THC to just 26 and a big part of the success was goalkeeper Jessica Ryde.
Ryde was a constant throughout the season, coming to Graz with 73 saves at 41 per cent save efficiency. Against Thüringer, Ryde once again showed her excellence. In 45 minutes played she made 13 saves (43 per cent), while her highest point was 60 per cent. If you want to beat Ikast, you should find a way to break their stone wall defence first and then hope Ryde is having a bad day.
We did a big difference in the defence. We were very strong, we had a strong goalkeeper performance, and everyone really played their best today.
Although we conceded 17 goals in the first half our defence was pretty good, I’m really satisfied with the defence. But I cannot be satisfied with our offence. We played not good enough, we had a lot of technical mistakes which left Ikast in a position where they could control the empty goal. Also we missed so many free shots from the wings today.