In preparation for their forthcoming European Championship C clash with Czech Republic next weekend, Ukraine staged an Origin match for the Arthur Vagramovich Martyrosyan Memorial Cup, named after the founder of the sport in their country and father of the current president.
The UFRL pitted representative sides from East and West Ukraine against one another, with the more experienced East – composed mainly of players from the best club in Ukraine, Kharkov’s Legion XIII – running out comfortable 58-0 winners.
Continuing political problems in the country have prompted the UFRL to shift more of its focus onto the relatively under-developed West Ukraine, which has run a domestic competition for only a year. Their team for the match was made up of players from Uzhgorod, Rivne, Kyiv and Lviv and, understandably, lacked the cohesion of the from Legion III, many of whom have been playing together for a while.
Despite the difference in experience, however, East Ukraine was held scoreless for over half an hour and only led 10-nil at the break. Dmitriy Semerenko scored 22 points and team-mate Mikhaylo Troyan won man of the match, whilst Andriy Hrusyuk and Valentin Koval were West Ukraine’s best.
Ukraine head coach Gennadiy Vepryk will now select his squad for the first match of European Championship C, on 25 June in Rivne.