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The team celebrate on the Palau Blaugrana court / PHOTO: GERMAN PARGA - FCB

The FC Barcelona roller hockey team have embarked on a new era in the OK Liga. After the title slipped away last season, which broke Barça’s 13 years of consecutive OK Liga title wins, the Liga crown is back in Azulgrana hands thanks to Gaby Cairo’s managerial skills. Barça’s 24th OK Liga title became a reality when the roller hockey team beat Calafell by 7-4 in front of 1,025 supporters and Sandro Rosell at the Palau Blaugrana. This Monday’s victory means that Barça have 62 points and an 11-point lead over second-place team Liceo, with 4 matches left on the schedule.

Third title of the season

This title reaffirms Cairo’s era at the helm of FCB’s roller hockey team. After winning the Spanish Super Cup and the King’s Cup, now it’s time to celebrate the OK Liga. There’s still, however, one more important challenge, the European League, which could be the icing on the cake for a team that has won everything else in play. The Barça squad come into the Final Eight playoff, which will be played in Lodi (Italy) from May 24th through the 27th, as group leaders.

Calafell quickly made it clear that they would not be an easy team to beat when they came out onto the Palau Blaugrana court. Barça’s players, on the other hand, showed themselves to be solid on defence. On six minutes, Pablo Álvarez brought the title that much closer when his behind-the-goal shot caught Calafell’s keeper off guard. Two minutes later, Torra committed a penalty and Coy brought his team level from the spot. Barça were coming close to scoring on Dalmau’s goal time and again, but none of the chances finished with the ball in the back of the net.

4-1 at the half

Borregán, however, made sure to net his shot on 13 minutes, after taking advantage of a rebound from Marc Gual’s shot. Calafell, at this point, were struggling to find the right balance on defence. Barroso, five minutes later, made it 3-1. Marc Torra, twice, and Coy hit the post. With two seconds to go before the break, Gual struck the decisive blow and made it 4-1.

At the start of the second half, the team managed by Cairo quickly made it 5-1 through Reinaldo García. Calafell’s second came on the 33rd minute thanks to another goal scored by Coy. Despite the goal, the Azulgrana team, with a three-goal advantage, were comfortable on the court. Barça quickly made it 6 thanks to Torra, with 11 minutes to go before full time. However, it was Coy, with two more goals in three minutes (45 and 48) that kept his team in the match. One minute later, however, Borregán sealed the win and the title when he beat Dalamu for Barça’s seventh.

Joy at the Palau Blaugrana

The party started after Borregán’s second goal. The supporters, knowing what the outcome meant for the team, erupted into applause and cheers as the referee called full time. Embraces, smiles, boisterous yelling and the team’s lap of honour quickly followed. The images of Cairo being tossed in the air by his players, the team posing for photos with their families and the technical staff giving the champions the honour guard are but a few of the lasting memories of Barça’s 24th OK Liga title win.

MATCH STATS

FC BARCELONA, 7
CALAFELL TOT l’ANY, 4

FC Barcelona: Fernandez, Reinaldo, Ordeig, Alvarez, Torra –starting five- Borregán, Gual, Barroso, Egurrola

Calafell: Dalmau, Sito, Pujades, Coy, Romeu –starting five- Vergés, López, Aragonés

Goals: 1-0, Pablo Álvarez (6’); 1-1, Coy (8’); 2-1, Borregán (13’); 3-1, Barroso (18’); 4-1, Gual (24’); 5-1, Reinaldo (28’); 5-2, Coy (33’); 6-2, Torra (39’); 6-3, Coy (45’); 6-4, Coy (48’), 7-4, Borregán (49’)

 

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