A brilliant team performance by Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s women saw them claim an unexpected 28-19 away victory against NEM Hawks in Saturday’s England North Regional Development League clash in Manchester.
Going into the match with just seven available players and no substitutes, the Vikings were clear underdogs on paper against the more experienced and powerful Hawks. But half player Judyta Turulska’s early flourish on her way to a match-winning personal 12-goal tally saw Newcastle build a lead right from the start that they never surrendered throughout the game, thanks also in part to some wayward early shooting from the Hawks.
With centre Sina Linsenmann and line-player Sandra Christke also scoring seven goals apiece, Newcastle managed to keep up the pressure at the top end of the court while resolutely thwarting the Hawks’ fast and strong attacking plays as the home side sought to fight back. Captain Christke led by example with some superb body-on-the-line defending, while some excellent goalkeeping from Andrea King helped to keep the Hawks’ powerful shots at bay.
An unstoppable bullet shot from right half Gesa Junge took Newcastle into the half-time break with a 14-10 advantage, while winger Blessing Ogbee also got her name on the scoresheet soon into the second half. Youngster Krystina Coulson also enjoyed a promising first full game since stepping up from the junior ranks. But it was Newcastle’s three back-court players who dominated, and fittingly it was top-scorer Turulska who rounded off the goalscoring for an ecstatic Vikings team, 28-19 at the final whistle.
Newcastle Vikings: Andrea King (GK), Judyta Turulska (12 goals), Krystina Coulson, Gesa Junge (1), Sina Linsenmann (7), Blessing Ogbee (1), Sandra Christke (7).