Vikings Ladies Go Top with Big Win but Leeds Men Hold On

Newcastle Vikings’ ladies jumped back up to the top of the England Handball Regional League North table with a convincing 14-35 winners over Leeds Beckett University on Sunday, but the home side’s men held off a Vikings fightback to take their National League North contest 24-18.

Captain Sandra Christke set the tone early on with two quick goals from the line position, before the students pulled one back.  Centre Maren Liane then struck a brace of her own, winger Marie Brevet got round the back of the defence to fire in either side of one from right-half Marlen Slinning Goulty as the Vikings began to open up a good lead.  Christke scored another double and half players Emily Bjerk and Alina Inta with a brace each added their names to the scoresheet, before Liane rounded off the first half scoring with a penalty strike to give Newcastle a 4-13 advantage at the break.

Though Leeds Beckett found the back of the Vikings net more often in the second half, it was not enough to trouble Newcastle’s attacking potency at the other end of the court.  Player-of-the-match Liane and Brevet each notched up another five goals, with four more for both Christke and Inta, two from Bjerk, another from Slinning Goulty, with left-winger Blessing Ogbee also getting in on the act late on as the Vikings romped home with a big 14-35 victory.

In a battle of the bottom two sides, centre Julien Eng’s brace gave Newcastle an early lead in the men’s match before the home side took control to open up a seven-goal advantage.  But the Vikings fought back with goals from wingers Fedi Boussema, Matthew Lamb and Bogdan Ciurea, before half-player Stephan Stricker fired in from the back-court and Lamb’s second on the break gave Newcastle hope of a comeback with the half-time score at 12-7.

Ciurea scored twice either side of another Sticker goal early in the second half, and further back-court strikes from captain David Topacho and another Eng brace helped the Vikings briefly close the gap to three with a much-improved performance, backed up by some brilliant saves from Newcastle’s player-of the-match Pål Jakobsen between the posts.  Topacho and wingers Lamb, Ciurea and Boussema on the double added further goals for the Vikings, however they were unable to narrow the scoreline any further as a late flurry from Leeds Beckett gave the home team a 24-18 win at the final whistle.

Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marie Brevet (7 goals), Marlen Slinning Goulty (2), Katerina Gibson, Maren Liane (8), Blessing Ogbee (1), Emily Bjerk (3), Alina Inta (6), Sandra Christke (8), Maria Jose Gonzalez Alvarez.

Newcastle Vikings men: Pål Jakobsen (GK), Andrei Bogdan Ciurea (4 goals), David Topacho (2), Matthew Lamb (3), Adam Mobberley, Mohamed Fedi Boussema (3), Jonathan Bastit, Stephan Stricker (2), Julien Eng (4).

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