After eight defeats in recent years, Barceloneta finally downed Recco

Olympiacos ‘copy-pasted’ the 14-6 rout from Day 6 against fellow Greek side Vouliagmeni, while Jadran clinched a crucial away win over Radnicki to push the Serbs aside in the hunt for the fourth qualifying spot. Dinamo earned their first victory in the season amidst dramatic circumstances – the Georgians were 8-4 down in Hannover but shut out the hosts in the entire second half to win 8-10 at the end.

Day 9, Group A: NC Vouliagmeni (GRE) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 6-14, Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 8-10, Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Jadran Split (CRO) 11-13, Pro Recco (ITA) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)

Standings: 1. Recco 21, 2. Barceloneta 21, 3. Olympiacos 22, 4. Vouliagmeni 13, 5. Jadran 10, 6. Radnicki 9, 7. Hannover 3, 8. Dinamo 3

In the big game of the night, played at the wonderful Bocconi Sport Center in Milano, Recco and Barceloneta were entangled into a brilliant and thrilling encounter, a bit surprisingly in wake of the title-holders’ smashing 5-11 victory in Barcelona on Day 6.

Olympiacos beat Greek arch-rival Vouliagmeni with ease – indeed they reproduced the same score as they had had on Day 6: the favourites won 14-6 again. This time it was all decided by halftime, thanks to a 1-6 rout in the second quarter.

Since Vouliagmeni lost – as it was expected –, the outcome of the Radnicki v Jadran fight became even more crucial. The Croats really stepped up for this game, stormed to 1-5 lead early on and were still 4-9 up at the beginning of the third. The Serbs tried to stage a comeback, scored three in a row and had a possession at 7-9, then a man-up at 8-10 early in the fourth, but missed that and Jadran hit two in 55 seconds to put the game in bed.

In the match between the bottom ranked sides, Hannover led 8-4 in the second period only to melt down for the last 17 minutes. Dinamo did some outstanding efforts in defending while the Germans were mesmerized and were unable to score in the entire second half, and the Georgians raced to their first win in the season.

The following days will be devoted to national teams’ action as the World Cup qualifiers are coming up, Champions League action shall resume in three weeks.