Liverpool came from behind to take the spoils against Newcastle Vikings in Saturday’s England Handball North Regional Development League match in South Shields.
After losing to their opponents in their opening match of the season, a much-improved Newcastle side were looking to make the most of home advantage in this return fixture at Temple Park Leisure Centre to extend their lead at the top of the league. And the Vikings made a strong start as goals from player-coach Jason Lee and Robert Thompson from the wings and back-court players Amaury Michelant and Dawid Miozga helped them build a good early lead.
Backed up by some brilliant saves between the posts by goalkeeper Dan Walsh, the Vikings’ plays seemed to be working well with goals continuing to flow from throughout the team. But Liverpool, playing with just seven players, found another gear to quickly peg the score back while stifling the Vikings attacks, before moving ahead. Michelant’s clever free-throw score around the Liverpool wall on half-time left it finely poised 10-11.
But Liverpool were in positive mood from their comeback and gradually stretched out their advantage, as an increasingly frustrated Newcastle side struggled to break through the well-drilled Liverpool defence line and faltered with their shooting accuracy. It was not until 20 minutes into the second half, and by that point seven goals adrift, that Michelant eventually made a breakthrough with his fourth goal of the match.
Newcastle rallied with a quick brace from half-back Jonathan Bastit and late strikes from Thompson and former captain Chris Bowe, but it wasn’t to be the Vikings day as Liverpool took the match 15-22.
Newcastle Vikings: Daniel Walsh (GK), Mark Harrison (1 goal), Amaury Michelant (4), Chris Bowe (1), Jason Lee (1), Dawid Miozga (2), Robert Thompson (2), Jack Woods, Jonathan Bastit (3), Matthew Lamb, Samuel Turner (1)