Newcastle Vikings’ men and Edinburgh’s women each won both of their matches in Saturday’s three-way friendly games at Benfield Sports Centre that also welcomed the University of Durham’s men’s and women’s teams to Tyneside.
In the men’s matches, the Vikings opened with a 17-11 victory over Durham’s students. Playmaker Timo Keller top-scored with six goals from the centre, with line-player Chistos Iliadis netting a treble and braces apiece coming from winger Adam Mobberley and back-court players Adam Batley and Ioan Polenciuc, with right-half Fabian van der Velden and winger Sam Downie both scoring too.
Durham’s men then scored a narrow 13-12 win against Edinburgh, before the Vikings also beat the Scottish side 14-16 in another closely fought contest. Four strikes for Iliadis were backed up by hattricks each for van der Velden, Mobberley and Keller, with Batley scoring another double and line-player Holger Schulz adding his name to the scoresheet. Junior players Aaron Edmundson and Charlie Emmett again played well in only their second outings for the senior side, with goalkeeper Emmett pulling off several great stops including saving a penalty.
Edinburgh scored a big 16-6 win over Durham in the opening women’s match, with both teams featuring a couple of Vikings players to make up numbers. Newcastle’s Andrea King top-scored with six goals from the wing, with line-player Maria-Jose Gonzalez Alvarez also netting twice for Edinburgh, while youngster Alexandra Inta scored one of Durham’s goals.
The Vikings then also lost out to Edinburgh 9-11 after fighting back from a slow start. Romina Schneider scored four from back-court and line positions, with half-players Lisa Mistareck firing in a hattrick and Inta grabbing a brace.
However, the Vikings’ ladies rounded off the afternoon with the biggest win of the day, scoring a 6-18 victory over Durham. Mistareck and Inta dominated from the back-court each scoring six goals, with line player Sandra Christke, half Gonzalez Alvarez and winger King each netting twice. Goalkeeper Caroline Bergum, Schneider and wingers Maria Gonzalez Pascual and Lisa Bendal also played their part in a good all-round team performance.
Newcastle Vikings would like to thank the Edinburgh and Durham University teams for coming and playing some great competitive handball in a good friendly spirit, and enjoying some festive social drinks altogether in the evening. We look forward to meeting again for some more handball action in the new year.