Newcastle Vikings men let slip a five-goal advantage as Leeds Carnegie came back to snatch a 23-25 away win in Sunday’s England Handball North Regional Development League match at Temple Park Leisure Centre in South Shields.
In a closely fought encounter, Vikings captain David Topacho opened the scoring, soon followed by goals from fellow back-court players Mohammed Ghuloum, James Porter, Topacho’s second, Johannes Bellm and a Stephan Stricker brace. However, the Leeds side levelled things up at 7-7 before the teams traded goals for a while, winger Thomas Harrison’s neat lob of the keeper on the break and centre Ghuloum’s double keeping Newcastle just in front before Carnegie nudged ahead themselves. Half players Porter, Topacho and Stricker nevertheless helped pull Newcastle back as the scores were tied 13-13 at the interval.
The Vikings’ captain again led the way at the start of the second half as the home side opened out a seemingly decisive five-goal lead. Topacho’s hat-trick, one from line-player Craig Swanson and another two from Ghuloum and Bellm’s second from the back court were complemented by some good saves at the other end by Newcastle keepers Daniel Walsh and Mark Harrison. But the Leeds side gradually clawed their way back as Newcastle began to falter, and following further goals from Stricker and Topacho, Carnegie levelled the game up as 22-22 with just minutes to go. The away side then grabbed three quick goals as the Vikings’ frustrations showed, winger Matthew Lamb’s breakaway goal on the final whistle proving a mere consolation. 23-25 the final score to Leeds Carnegie.
Newcastle Vikings: Daniel Walsh (GK), Mark Harrison (GK), Florencio ‘Kole’ Viejo-Cabellero, Vlad Cocos, Craig Swanson (1 goal), Matthew Lamb (1), Mohammed Ghuloum (4), Adam Mobberley, James Porter (2), Thomas Harrison (1), Johannes Bellm (2), David Topacho (7), Holger Schulz, Stephan Stricker (4).