Saturday’s England Handball Regional League North fixture saw an under-strength Newcastle Vikings women’s team slump to a 12-20 home defeat to Manchester at the Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence.
Hit by injuries, illnesses and unavailability, with several players having to play out of their usual positions, Newcastle’s ladies struggled as Manchester gradually opened out a 3-10 first half lead. Centre Maren Liane found the net twice, with half Judyta Turulska also scoring in between.
The second half did bring about an improved performance from the Vikings girls, with winger Blessing Ogbee scoring four penalties in a personal best-ever six-goal haul to pick up Newcastle’s Kafeneon player of the match. Two more back-court strikes from Turulska and one from Liane made for a more evenly matched contest and helped give some credibility to the Vikings’ scoreline, but by the time the final whistle sounded Manchester had run out clear winners.
Newcastle’s women will hope for a much more competitive all-round performance to get back to winning ways and quickly gain revenge in the return away fixture in a fortnight’s time.
Newcastle Vikings: Andrea King (GK), Marie Thompson, Judyta Turulska (3 goals), Katerina Gibson, Maren Liane (3), Blessing Ogbee (6), Sandra Christke-Lamb, Maria Jose Gonzalez.