Liverpool once again took the spoils to this time knock Newcastle Vikings out of the England Handball Women’s National Cup competition 21-14 on Saturday.
With the opening rounds of the National Cup competition regionalised, after gaining a first round bye the draw had pitted the Vikings ladies up against their Regional League North counterparts Liverpool for this away fixture.
Ahead of the throw-off, Newcastle were surprised by a gracious fair play award presentation by Liverpool Handball Club president Paul Forester, in recognition of the Vikings having volunteered to start December’s home league match between the clubs with six players to even up the numbers until Liverpool’s other delayed players arrived at the sports hall.
The league leaders were, however, back to a full strength squad for this home cup tie, although the first half followed much the same closely-matched vein as the previous league game. The Merseysiders opened the scoring but Newcastle quickly levelled with Maren Liane’s strike from the right wing. Marie Thompson then twice broke through from the back-court, Blessing Ogbee struck from the line position and Alina Inta fired in from right-half as Newcastle kept themselves in touch of their opponents, backed up by some solid defensive teamwork and several good stops including a penalty save by goalkeeper Andrea King.
Player-coach Marlen Slinning Goulty switched from centre to line and duly scored her 150th Vikings goal in a deserved Kafeneon player-of-the-match performance. Judyta Turulska moved from half to centre and grabbed her first of the match, and Thompson’s penalty strike just before the break brought the scoreline back to 9-8 at half-time.
Turulska momentarily levelled affairs at 9-9 as the second-half got underway, but the home side soon regained the lead from the penalty line before extending their advantage on the fast-break. Goulty pivoted for her second and Ogbee fired in from the left-wing, before a right-wing double from Liane, but the Merseysiders had begun finding gaps in the Newcastle defence as the Tynesiders began to tire.
Liverpool had stretched their lead out to six by the time Turulska also notched her third goal of the game, before adding late gloss to their scoreline to take the victory 21-14 at the final whistle. Newcastle Vikings would like to congratulate Liverpool on the win and wish them all the very best in quarter-final.
Meanwhile, the Vikings ladies return to league action with a home game next Saturday when they will be looking to do the double over bottom-of-the-table Peninsula, following on after Newcastle’s men’s match against the University of Leeds.
Newcastle Vikings: Andrea King (GK), Marie Thompson (3 goals), Marlen Slinning Goulty (2), Judyta Turulska (3), Katerina Gibson, Maren Liane (3), Blessing Ogbee (2), Alina Inta (1).