Two brilliant team performances saw Newcastle Vikings women’s and men’s handball teams make the most of home advantage at South Shields’ Temple Park Leisure Centre to score a hat-full of goals and claim two huge league wins over Leeds University on Saturday.
With goalkeeper Andrea King keeping a clean sheet, aided by some solid defensive team play, the Vikings women achieved a feat rarely seen in handball! It was all the more welcome after coming so close in last week’s 29-1 victory at Leeds Carnegie. Meanwhile, goals rained aplenty at the opposite end of the court as line-player Sofie Vaula and half-backs Judyta Turulska and Marlen Slinning helped themselves to 11 goals each, with centre Sandra Christke scoring nine and Marie-Louise Brevet adding a further seven from the wing.
25-0 up at half-time, Newcastle never let the pace drop as they broke the 30 goal barrier for the first time in the club’s fledgling two-and-a-half year history. The 40 goal hurdle was soon breached too, as the Vikings women pressed on relentlessly, seemingly destined to notch a landmark half-century of goals. But alas with a frantic last few minutes of end-to-end action they fell agonisingly short come the final whistle, claiming what was nevertheless an amazing 49-0 victory scoreline!
Seemingly a hard act to follow, the Vikings men soon had Leeds on the back-foot as they made a strong start in their match too. Back-court players Peter Schichtel, Dawid Miozga and Jonathan
Bastit scored early goals, but it was with the introduction from the bench of wingers Simon Heintz and Jack Woods mid-way through the first-half that Newcastle started to stretch their lead. Seizing upon several breakaway chances to score unchallenged, thanks in part to some great court-long throws from goalkeeper Faisal Albathali, Newcastle’s flying wingers helped the Vikings take a 15-3 lead into the half-time break.
After a somewhat hesitant start to the second half as Leeds briefly threatened a comeback, a quick-fire hat-trick from substitute centre Amaury Michelant soon got the Vikings back on track. A further string of brilliant saves between the posts from Albathali to thwart Leeds’ attacks typified Newcastle’s new-found defensive solidity this season, while Heintz and Woods amongst others continued to hit the back of the net at the opposite end of the court.
The final 27-8 scoreline was the biggest winning margin for Newcastle’s men.
The double victory made it a clean sweep of home and away wins for Newcastle Vikings over the two Leeds teams, as the Vikings women jumped to the top of their England Handball North Regional Development League with the men’s team remaining second in their league. However, next week
looks likely to present a much tougher affair for the Vikings men as they take on Bolton Hussars who currently top the table only on goal difference.
Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marie-Louise Brevet (7 goals), Marlen Slinning (11), Sofie Vaula (11), Blessing Ogbee, Judyta Turulska (11), Sandra Christke (9).
Newcastle Vikings men: Faisal Albathali (GK), Dawid Miozga (2 goals), Amaury Michelant (3), Craig Swanson, Stephan Stricker (2), Scott Garrow (2), Peter Schichtel (2), Simon Heintz (6), Jack Woods (5), Jonathan Bastit (2), Chris Bowe (1), Neil Bhandary, Matthew Lamb (2), Sam Turner.