With the 28:27 victory in the 109th Schleswig-Holstein derby over THW Kiel, SG Flensburg-Handewitt underlined that the Handball Bundesliga is facing an extremely balanced and exciting season.

“Everything is open in the league,” said new Flensburg coach Nicolej Krickau after his derby debut, which ended with the hosts’ 39th win. In the event of a defeat, the SG, as one of the top favorites for the championship, would have lost contact with the top of the table early on.

The ranking is currently led by MT Melsungen and Füchse Berlin, who each have 6:0 points after confident performances so far. Defending champion and record champion THW follows with 6:2 points. Flensburg and Champions League winners SC Magdeburg each have 4:2 points on their account.

“We saw an incredibly great game today. It’s a real shame that we weren’t rewarded,” said THW coach Filip Jicha after a thrilling game in which both teams had the chance to win. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, the Czech said: “Wins don’t shape a team, defeats shape them.”

Things continue at high speed for the two northern clubs. The Kiel team will meet MT Melsungen on Sunday (3 p.m./Dyn). The Flensburg team has one more day to recover before they travel to TBV Lemgo Lippe on Monday (7 p.m./Dyn).