Newcastle Vikings’ men’s team were knocked out of the England Handball National Cup at the first round stage in a heavy 15-41 home defeat to Manchester on Sunday afternoon.
The cup tie at the Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence was never going to be easy against the strong National League North side, but without a regular goalkeeper and no substitutes available the depleted team of Vikings lads were up against it from the start. Captain Adam Mobberley took on the role between the posts and gave his best, but he could do little against Manchester’s shooting accuracy.
All of Newcastle’s goals came from the back-court trio of Fedi Boussema, Julien Eng and Adam Batley, with each of them netting twice in the first half. However, the away side were already running away with the game 6-18 by the break.
The Vikings lads continued to give their all in the second-half, with centre Eng striking four in a row in between further goals from half-players Boussema and Kafeneon player-of-the-match Batley.
But they were unable to contain the visitor’s attacking speed and power at the other end as the higher-league side stretched their advantage all the more. And by the time Eng was unfortunate to receive a red card in the final minute, Manchester had already easily secured a convincing 26-goal win and their place in the second round against their city’s Premier League rivals NEM Hawks.
Newcastle Vikings: Adam Mobbeley (GK), Milan Anilkumar, Adam Batley (5 goals), Robert Thompson, Craig Swanson, Mohamed Fedi Boussema (4), Julien Eng (6).