On the 28th September The Newcastle Vikings Handball Club travelled to Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre to compete in a tournament alongside clubs from Scotland and Ireland. Edinburgh Handball club hosted the event; their first of this kind, with 4 teams in each the Men’s and Women’s draw. 12 games were played across the day, with each game consisting of 2x12minute halves.
Both squads of The Vikings have been training since September 2012 when the club was founded. After a handful of competitive games in the recent past, and the impending league fixtures in October, the offer to take part in a competitive tournament was too good to pass up. The Vikings arrived in Edinburgh with a mixture of experienced handball players from Europe and the UK, and players that were yet to experience their first taste of competitive action.
Both teams had a short wait before their first match and were able to spectate on a few of their opponents in waiting. In both the Men’s and Women’s cases, the quality on first impression was very high, and it was immediately apparent there was an exhausting day ahead. A crowd had assembled, consisting of awaiting players, coaches and handball enthusiasts supporting their friends and family. The atmosphere created by the crowd was fantastic, this was only added to by the sound system that was utilised to blast a short burst of music (some better than others!) upon the awarding of a goal.
The Viking’s Girls team were on court first, against Dublin’s Lughnasa Handball Club. They announced their arrival in the tournament with a bang, winning the game comfortably 9-5. The girl’s second game was a tougher affair, being cruelly edged out 9-8 by Edinburgh Handball Club. With a win and a loss,The Vikings needed a win against their final opponents, Edinburgh’s ‘Rest of the World’ team to stand a chance of taking the trophy home. It was a tough ask and they unfortunately lost the game 12-5 and the Edinburgh team took home the trophy.
The Viking boys opened their tournament with a heavy defeat to Glasgow Handball Club, 21-5. They did not let the defeat deflate their spirit and put up a much better fight in their penultimate game against the hosts, Edinburgh, losing a much more respectable 20-12. Each game saw a stark improvement in confidence, culminating in a final loss to the eventual winners, Dundee 13-6.
Both teams came away in extremely positive moods, despite their eventual defeat. The tournament was extremely well organised and it was played and officiated in a good spirit, with only a handful of cards handed out (not always to the correct player as Gaz will testify). The Newcastle Vikings would like to pass on their thanks to Edinburgh Handball club for the invitation and all those that contributed to the tournament’s success.
All players came away with invaluable experience and match practice for the oncoming season. The Men and Women are to compete in the Scottish Men’s Division 2 (Development league) and Women’s Division 1, respectively.
Squads for the tournament;
Girls: Marlen Slinning, Tonje Olsen, Lea Vestergaard, Sophie Vaula, Sandra Christke, Andrea King (GK), Kat Lamb, Michelle Anderson, Nina van Ruijven, Selina Stenberg, Laetitia Renard-Watson.
Boys: Robert Thompson, Charlie Goulty, Scott Garrow, Gareth Bowden, Matthew Lamb, Mike Cooke (GK), Kamran Saeed, Chris Bowe, Kole, Mark Harrison.
Unused subs: Magnus Slinning Goulty.
A special mention goes to Mark Harrison (missing from above photo), who unfortunately (yet comically) missed the men’s final match after it was brought forward by an hour and he was asleep in his car where nobody could find him!
Other photos from the tournament can be found here http://www.fairstonephotography.foliopic.com/gallery/edinburgh-handball-tourmament-19718