Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s women’s team started off the new season where they left off last season by picking up their third trophy of a successful year at Saturday’s Tom Cooper Handball Tournament in East Kilbride.
Newcastle’s men’s team, competing in this fourth annual pre-season tournament for the second time and giving a run out to a few less regular players, had a tough morning going down heavily 4-13 to Dundee, 4-16 to Livingston and 1-18 to Cumbernauld-based Tryst 77. While they improved in the afternoon’s matches the Vikings lads could not quite pull off a win, losing 6-12 to Edinburgh and 8-10 to hosts EK82.
In between, the Vikings women, featuring a couple of guest players from York City Hunters and the local Scottish sides due to a late withdrawal, also lost their opening match in the three-way ladies exhibition tournament 7-16 to a strong EK Select team featuring several Edinburgh and Dundee handballers. However, an better performance and switch of attacking formation to two line players paid off as they came from behind to defeat Tryst 77 12-9 in their second game, putting them through to the final and a re-match against the EK Select team.
Another change of tactics to a 5-1 defensive formation worked wonders in the cup final to mark the EK Select team’s play-maker out of the game, as the Vikings stayed strong at the back and took their opportunities in attack to pull off an unexpected 8-6 victory.
Raising the Craig Walter Cup comes on the back of the Newcastle ladies’ championship-winning season in the England Handball Regional League North and picking up the third-place Plate competition trophy in this summer’s British Beach Handball Championships.
Newcastle Vikings’ men’s and women’s teams begin their 2018/19 English league campaigns with home fixtures against the University of York on Saturday 6th October 2018, with 2:30pm and 4:30pm throw-offs respectively at the Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence.
Newcastle Vikings men: Mark Harrison (GK), Robert Thompson, Thomas Harrison, Adam Mobberley, Julien Eng, Craig Swanson, Jose Lucas Cereto.
Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marie Thompson, Marlen Slinning Goulty, Lauren Rossi, Blessing Ogbee, Maria Jose Gonzalez-Alvarez.