Favorites Mladost and Jug were merciless in the evening session of Day 2 of the Premier Regional League semifinal groups, but almost all of the other matches were exciting. There were plenty of twists and turns, comebacks, etc…
In Group A, Mladost easily beat Partizan, Crvena Zvezda edged out Primorje, while Jadran Split convincingly defeated Sabac.
Jadran Herceg Novi beat Primorac in the Montenegrin derby played in Group B in Dubrovnik, where Radnicki produced a big comeback and defeated Solaris. Jug taught a lesson to Budva.
After two days, four clubs are unbeaten – Jug, Mladost, Radnicki and Jadran Split.
Day 2 (evening session) – Group A: Mladost – Partizan 20:9, Primorje – Crvena Zvezda 11:12, Sabac -Jadran S 7:12, Group B: Radnicki – Solaris 9:8, Primorac – Jadran HN 5:9, Budva – Jug 5:22.
Mladost – Partizan 20:9 (5:1, 4:1, 3:2, 8:5)
HAVK Mladost: Lazic 4, Radu 2, Dasic2, Bukic 2, Kharkov 2, J. Vrlic 2, Milos 1, BIljaka 1, Buslje 1, Viskovic 1, M. Vrlic 1.
Partizan: S. Mitrovic 5, Andrin 1, Nesic 1, Schofield 1,Dimitrijevic 1.
Primorje – Crvena Zvezda 11:12 (2:2, 5:3, 2:3, 2:4)
Primorje: Brubnjak 6, Car 2, Vrbnjak 1, Rakovac 1, Paparic 1.
Crvena Zvezda: Subotic 6, Tankosic 3, Radovic 2, Vickovic 1.
Sabac – Jadran S 7:12 (2:4, 2:3, 1:5, 2:0)
Sabac: Stojanovic 2, Cetkovic 2, Velkic 1, Tkac 1, Vucinic 1.
Jadran Split: Buric 3, Setka 3, Marinic Kragic 2, Bego 1, Pejkovic 1, Delic 1, Duzevic 1.
Titleholder Mladost was too strong for Partizan. By halftime, the Zagreb-based side built a 9:2 advantage, and everything was decided. There were 18 goals in the second half, but there was no suspense. Stefan Mitrovic, a returnee to Partizan, scored five goals, while Franko Lazic led Mladost with four goals.
After beating Sabac in the hard match in today’s morning session (12:10), Crvena Zvezda recorded another important win.
The encounter between Primorje and Crvena Zvezda was a hard battle with a lot of twists and turns. In the middle of the second period, the Belgrade team had a 4:3 advantage. But, after that, Primorje responded with four goals in a span of 2:09 minutes and gained a 7:4 lead. Zvezda responded in the same way – with four consecutive goals. The Serbs led 8:7 in the 21st minute. But, new twists were yet to come. Primorje produced a 3:0 series for a 10:8 lead. Afterward, Crvena Zvezda scored three unanswered goals and went ahead – 11:10 with 02:07 minutes remaining on the clock. Then Primorje had a great chance, but Tin Brubnjak missed from a penalty shot. If he had scored, he would perhaps have been the man of the match (since he netted six goals this evening). However, the hero of the game was Gavril Subotic, who scored his sixth goal a minute before the end, and Crvena Zvezda gained a 2-goal lead for the first time – 12:10 (Subotic found the net six times against Sabac this morning, too). In the remaining time, Primorje scored just a consolation goal.
Jadran Split did a great job in the first two days of the tournament in Belgrade. Yesterday, the Split-based team defeated Crvena Zvezda after a penalty shootout, while it trashed Sabac today. Sabac and Crvena Zvezda have been Jadran’s biggest rivals in the battle for a spot at the Final Four. After three defeats, Sabac is out of the race, but Crvena Zvezda still keeps the hope alive.
Jadran beat Sabac much easier than expected. Until the 12th minute, the match was an even contest (the score was 4:4 in the middle of the second period). From that point on, Jadran dominated. Sabac ran out of the gas after hard games against Mladost and Crvena Zvezda, while Jadran played very well both in defense and offense. At halftime, the Croats led 7:4. By the middle of the third period, they stretched the margin to six (10:4). Sabac interrupted Jadran’s series in the 21st minute (5:10). Still, the Croats entered the last period with a 7-goal lead (12:5) and slowed down in the final eight minutes. Andjelo Setka and Rino Buric led the winning team. Each scored three goals.
1 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 3 – 7
2 Mladost (CRO) 2 – 6
3 Jadran S (CRO) 2 – 5
4 Partizan (SRB) 2 – 3
5 Primorje (CRO) 2 – 0
6 Sabac (SRB) 3 – 0
Previous results – Day 1: Primorje – Partizan 8:9, Jadran S – Crvena Zvezda 18:16 (PSO), Sabac – Mladost 10:13
Day 2 (morning session): Crvena Zvezda – Sabac 12:10
Day 3 (January 16): Partizan – Jadran S (10:30), HAVK Mladost – Primorje EB (12:10), Partizan – Crvena zvezda (17:00), Primorje EB – Sabac (18:50), HAVK Mladost – Jadran S (20:40)
Radnicki – Solaris 9:8 (1:4, 1:1, 5:0, 2:3)
KVK Radnicki: Ukropina 2, Rasovic 1, Stanojevic 1, Jankovic 1, Toholj 1, Krug 1, Milicic 1, Lukic 1.
Solaris: Herceg 2, Erak 1, Krekovic 1, Pelicaric 1, Penava 1, Bulat 1, Koprcina 1.
Primorac – Jadran HN 5:9 (1:3, 2:3, 2:2, 0:1)
Primorac: Gopcevic 2, Macic 1, Molthen 1, Matkovic 1.
Jadran Herceg Novi: Petkovic 3, Obradovic 2, Averka 1, D.Banicevic 1, Gardasevic 1, Murisic 1.
Budva – Jug AO 5:22 (2:5, 1:4, 2:6, 0:7)
Budva BR:Kovacevic 2, Mitrovic 2, Dragovic 1.
Jug AO: Merkulov 5, Obradovic 3, Krzic 3, Garcia 2, Vukojevic 2, Tomasovic 2,Fatovic 1, Loncar 1, Ljepava 1, Zuvela 1, Benic 1.
Radnicki and Solaris know each other very well. The two teams fought hard battles in the previous two seasons of the A2 Regional League. However, Radnicki brought several excellent reinforcements last summer and was the favorite today. But, Solaris stunned the Serbs and jumped to a 3:0 lead after less than three minutes of play. Early in the second period, Solaris had a 5:1 advantage and kept the distance for several minutes. Deep into the 2nd quarter, Radnicki started climbing back and scored seven goals in a row to turn around a 4-goal deficit to an 8:5 lead (25th minute). Shortly after, Pelicaric broke Primorje’s scoreless phase that lasted almost 16 minutes for 6:8. In the next possession, Ukropina gave Radnicki a 9:6 lead. Still, Solaris managed to cut the deficit (8:9), and had an opportunity to equalize with a man-up in the last attack, but the Serbs defended their net.
Jadran Herceg Novi defeated Primorac in the Montenegrin derby and took revenge for a defeat in the national league. Both clubs still have chances to reach the Final Four, but Jadran is much closer to the semifinals than its arch-rival. Jadran opened the match with a 3:0 rush, and had a 5:1 lead midway through the second period. Primorac took control after Jadran’s fifth goal and reduced the gap to one (5:6) in the second minute of the third period. But, the Kotor-based side players didn’t find the net in the remaining 14 minutes, while Jadran scored three goals for a 9:5 victory.
Jug showed no mercy to Budva and completed the series of convincing wins in the matches against the Montenegrin clubs (the hosts beat Jadran yesterday, and Primorac this morning). Shortly after the first whistle, Jug proved who the favorite was. The Croatian champion cruised to a win. Almost all of the field players found the net, while Daniil Merkulov was the best scorer (5 goals).
1 Jug AO (CRO) 3 – 9
2 Radnicki (SRB) 2 – 6
3 Jadran (HN) 2 – 3
4 Primorac (MNE) 3– 3
5 Solaris (CRO) 3 – 3
6 Budva (MNE) 3 – 0
Previous results – Day 1: Jug – Jadran 12:3, Budva – Radnicki 9:17, Primorac – Solaris 9:7; Day 2 (morning session): Solaris – Budva 11:9, Jug – Primorac 13:4.
Day 3 (January 16): Jadran HN – KVK Radnicki (10:30), Jadran HN – Solaris (17:00), Primorac – Budva BR (18:50), Jug AO – KVK Radnicki (20:40).