Vikings Men Jump to Top of the League

Newcastle Vikings’ men moved to the top of the North Regional Handball League with a strong 19-24 away victory over the University of Leeds on Sunday.

The Vikings lads were lead by a brilliant 10-goal haul from centre Pablo Docampo, with left-half Bart Piorkowski finding the back of the Gryphon’s net six times.

Four of Docampo’s strikes and three from Piorkowski came in the first half of the match, with one from right-half Fedi Boussema and a wing double from Adam Mobberley just before the break helping the Tynesiders into a 6-10 half-time lead.

Kafeneon player-of-the-match Docampo continued to run the show in the second half, firing in six more while Piorkowski doubled his personal tally. Thomas Harrison added his name to the scoresheet from the right wing as the Vikings extended their advantage, backed up by some determined team defensive work and solid goalkeeping from Matthew Lamb between the posts.

A late waver briefly allowed the university side to narrow the gap, before captain Mobberley steadied things with two late goals, and Boussema rounded off the scoring to seal Newcastle’s second win of the season over their opponents.

Ahead of the men’s match, the Vikings’ and Gryphons’ women’s teams had got the afternoon’s action going with a similarly entertaining match featuring some cracking long-range back-court goals from both sides. The home side dominated the initial exchanges, and despite centre Marlen Slinning Goulty’s early equaliser the University of Leeds soon opened up a six-goal lead as Newcastle’s defence struggled to contain their shooting opportunities.

But after a time-out talking to, the Vikings ladies got their act together and came back out fighting, putting on a much-improved defensive team display to continually thwart the Gryphons’ attacks. Goulty fired in her second at the other end and Blessing Ogbee found space to strike a hat-trick from the right wing, but with Leeds starving them of many clear shooting opportunties the university side still held a 10-5 lead at half-time.

Left-half Judyta Turulska got one back soon after the re-start, but Leeds extended their lead, before head coach Goulty lead a back-court onslaught in a player-of-the-match performance that helped the Vikings to outscore their opponents in the second half. With right-half Maren Liane also firing in a treble and left-winger Marie Thompson converting on a fast break, six more Goulty strikes took her tally to eight for the match. In the end however, the Vikings’ fightback was not quite enough as the University of Leeds won 20-16 to leapfrog Newcastle in the women’s regional league table.

Newcastle Vikings’ teams are next back in home league action on Saturday 14 March, when the men take on Warrington Wolves II and the ladies will face Trafford at the Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence.

Newcastle Vikings men: Matthew Lamb (GK), Thomas Harrison (1 goal), Adam Mobberley (4), Mohammed Fedi Boussema (2), Pablo Docampo (10), Bart Piorkowski (6).

Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marie Thompson (1 goal), Marlen Slinning Goulty (8), Judyta Turulska (1), Katerina Gibson, Ed Ogbee, Maren Liane (3), Blessing Ogbee (3), Maria Gonzalez Pasual, Maria-Jose Gonzalez Alvarez.

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