Newcastle Vikings’ under-14 mixed juniors team travelled to Shropshire to take part in their first ever England Handball tournament on Saturday 4 December. Not being sure what to expect, it was a very excited group of youngsters who took to the road in the early hours, with thanks also to two parent drivers, to drive to the Langley School and Sports Centre in Telford. After the 4½ hours journey they were ready for some handball action, joined by a player from Northampton Handball Club.
First up was a match against Trafford, a very close contest which ended 4-3 to the Vikings. This was a fantastic start which gave the team a great boost of confidence. After a quick 5-minute turnaround, they took on Shropshire in the second match, who provided a real challenge with their intense, physical approach. But the Vikings youngsters showed they were more than up for that challenge, with the enthusiastic players battling to a 6-5 victory. Two wins out of two and the young Vikings were flying!
After a longer break the team was back on court and hungry for more handball against Trafford for a second time. But after a very close and competitive match, the Vikings went down to a last gasp winning goal with the match finishing 8-7 to Trafford. Despite their first taste of defeat, the Vikings shrugged off their disappointment and came out all guns blazing in the final match of the day. With fantastic fighting spirit and teamwork, both in attack and defence by all players, the Vikings ran out 9-7 winners over the Shropshire hosts, securing a hugely impressive victory in the tournament overall. What an exciting, fun and action-packed day of handball!
Coach Marlen Slinning Goulty had only positive words to say about the players and the match day: “It was full-on contact, many challenges but a good way to learn more handball for our players. The young Vikings deserved to finally get the chance to play handball against other teams. And they showed that they were ready to take on this challenge with their amazing sportsmanship, teamwork, and positive attitude on the court. I am so proud of them all and it was very emotional for me to finally be able to give our fantastic players a chance to play league handball and show the rest of the country what amazing work the Vikings coaches, volunteers and players do up in the North East.”
“Also, I must give a massive thank you to our drivers, we couldn’t have done this without you. Congratulations to our players and thank you to Northampton HC for lending us one of your boys for the day. Thank you also to Shropshire HC and all its volunteers for hosting this round.”
Main photo (from left): Coach Marlen, Vlad (Northampton), Joel, George, Zac, Oli, Edda and Brendan.
Newcastle Vikings HC are looking forward to hosting the next England Handball under-14 tournament round in Newcastle on Sunday 23 January 2022 and welcoming all the clubs for more fun handball action!