Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s women’s team qualified for their first national cup final after knocking out Bristol 15-11 on Saturday in South Shields.
The England Handball Association League Cup semi-final match at Temple Park Leisure Centre saw Bristol make the better start to take an early lead, before half-player Judyta Turulska pulled the Vikings back into the game with five first-half goals.
But with Newcastle missing two penalty throws in a low-scoring half dominated by good defensive play from both sides, Bristol took advantage to edge back 6-5 in front just before the half-time break.
However, goals from winger Blessing Ogbee, line-player Sandra Christke and head-coach Marlen Slinning from the penalty line quickly put the Vikings ahead after the interval, with goalkeeper Andrea King making two good penalty saves herself at the other end of the court. As Bristol sought to fight back, Newcastle further strengthened their hold on the match through a brace from half Fienke Nanne, Turulska’s sixth and a hat-trick from centre Slinning, including another penalty score.
Bristol’s flamboyant late penalty throw, the ninth of the match, just eluded the grasp of a diving King, before Turulska fittingly rounded things off for the Vikings with her seventh goal and a 15-11 home tie victory.
Newcastle’s ladies will now take on London GD II in the EHA league cup final at Manchester’s Trafford Soccerdome on Saturday 6 June. But before that, they have the small matter of defending their title in the Tyneside Handball Tournament at Temple Park this Saturday 2 May.
Newcastle Vikings: Andrea King (GK), Marie-Louise Brevet, Marlen Slinning (4 goals), Judyta Turulska (7), Blessing Ogbee (1), Josefine Nanne (2), Kathryn Powell, Sandra Christke (1).