Two-time runners-up East Kilbride’s EK82 Handball Club claimed their first Tyneside Handball Tournament crown in the fifth edition of the annual sporting competition held at South Shields’ Temple Park Leisure Centre on Saturday.
Following a couple of unfortunate late withdrawals, the men’s competition this year was reduced to a four-way challenge between Newcastle Vikings, Durham University, York Hunters and Scottish club EK82. And it was the East Kilbride club who also took advantage of the absence of three-time champions and recently-crowned 2018 British Handball leagues play-off champions Glasgow to retain the Tyneside tournament title in Scottish hands.
Hosts Newcastle Vikings lost their opening group match 8-11 to the 2018 British University Handball runners-up Durham University, before drawing 9-9 with York Hunters. They then found their form to pick up four straight wins, including impressive 9-11 and 8-12 victories over EK82. The Scottish side nevertheless also scored four group stage victories, with the biggest winning margin of the day coming in their final group match in which they defeated York 16-5.
Durham finished the group stage in third place just ahead of York. But the Hunters turned the table in the 3rd/4th-place play-off as the university side lost club president and top scorer Lucas Palumbo to injury, York coming away with a well-played 4-8 victory.
Having finished top of the group table in their most successful tournament showing, Newcastle Vikings went into the final in positive mood. However, a pulsating highest-scoring match of the day saw EK82 also turn the table on the Vikings to take the Tyneside Handball Tournament title 11-16. The result means that a Scottish team have won the men’s tournament every year since Newcastle Vikings Handball Club first established it in 2013.
EK82’s Great Britain under-20 international Jack Lees picked up the competition’s top goalscorer award with 26 strikes, ahead of team-mate Benjamin Muir and Newcastle Vikings’ season top-scorer Julien Eng who both found the back of the net 19 times.
Meanwhile, the day’s women’s matches saw three games taking place between teams representing Newcastle Vikings and Tyne & Wear. The Vikings team won the first two 5-8 and 4-7, but Tyne & Wear gained a deserved 7-6 win in the final match. Newcastle’s Caroline Steinhagen top-scored with eight goals.
Newcastle Vikings Handball Club would like to say a big thank you to all the clubs and guest players who came to take part in a fun day of fast and furious handball action.
Men’s Tournament Results:
- Newcastle 8-11 Durham
- Newcastle 9-9 York
- York 4-8 Durham
- EK82 9-11 Newcastle
- EK82 12-8 York
- Newcastle 8-7 Durham
- Durham 8-13 EK82
- York 11-8 Durham
- EK82 8-12 Newcastle
- Newcastle 8-4 York
- Durham 8-10 EK82
- EK82 16-5 York
Third Place Play-off:
- Durham 4-8 York
- Newcastle 11-16 EK82