Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s opening North East friendly league match of the season on Saturday saw their men’s team pick up a long-awaited first win of the year as they ran-out 24-20 victors over York Hunters at South Shields’ Temple Park Leisure Centre.
With Newcastle giving a run-out to several less regular players while also giving others an opportunity to play in different positions, York took advantage to race into an early lead. Line-player Craig Swanson scored the Vikings opener, before Adam Mobberley struck a first-half hat-trick. Centre Daniel Larry fired in his first Vikings goals and half-players Julien Eng and Etienne Lisse with a brace also netted from the back-court as Newcastle fought back, with winger Andrei Bogdan Ciurea’s brace edging Newcastle 12-10 in front at half-time.
Mohamed Fedi Boussema scored his twice from left-half, with an Eng treble stretching the Vikings advantage. Lisse scored another double either side of further back-court strikes from Matthew Lamb and Cedric Le Lay. Left-winger Koray Dombaz grabbed his first Newcastle goal, with further late strikes from Boussema and Ciurea rounding off a welcome morale-boosting 24-20 win.
Newcastle Vikings will next face the University of York’s men’s and women’s teams as their North East League campaign continues in two weeks time.
Newcastle Vikings: Daniel Walsh (GK), Pål Jakobsen (GK), Andrei Bogdan Ciurea (3 goals), Daniel Larry (3), Koray Dombaz (1), Matthew Lamb (1), Cedric Le Lay (1), Adam Mobberley (3), Mohamed Fedi Boussema (3), Robert Thompson, Etienne Lisse (4), Craig Swanson (1), Julien Eng (4).