Newcastle Vikings’ men came from behind to snatch a late 17-16 victory from Leeds Carnegie’s grasp in this morning’s nail-biting England Handball North Regional Development League fixture at South Shields’ Temple Park Leisure Centre.
The Leeds Beckett University side, lacking any substitutes, took the advantage early on as the Vikings struggled to get into their stride. Johannes Bellm’s brace and a Stephan Stricker strike from the back-court eventually got the home side’s scoreboard ticking over before line-player Holger Schulz got in on the act to level things up. Half-player Bellm claimed his hat-trick and Schultz added his second from the penalty line to keep Newcastle in touch before, with the scores level at 6-6, goalkeeper Daniel Walsh made two ultimately crucial penalty saves at the other end. Carnegie nevertheless managed to open out a narrow 9-7 lead by the half-time break following Bellm’s fourth goal.
Centre Robin Devilette opened the second half scoring with a quick hat-trick, split only by Bellm’s fifth as the Vikings fought hard to claw the score back. Adam Mobberley then struck his first goal of the season from the right wing, before player-coach Jonathan Bastit and centre Peter Schichtel each broke through from the back court . With Carnegie temporarily down to six players due to a two-minute suspension, Newcastle took their opportunity as Bellm’s brace helped the home side take the lead for the first time in the match at 16-15. And despite Carnegie levelling it up again in a tense final few minutes, a brilliant double save at point-blank range from keeper Walsh prevented them from taking the lead again before Devilette grabbed the late winner and the Vikings held on to the final whistle.
The 17-16 win gave Newcastle the double over Leeds Carnegie, following another close 18-17 away victory at the start of the season.
Newcastle Vikings: Daniel Walsh (GK), Florencio Viejo-Caballero, Thomas Harrison, Craig Swanson, Peter Schichtel (1 goal), Robin Devilette (4), Adam Mobberley (1), James Porter, Jonathan Bastit (1), Stephan Stricker (1), Holger Schulz (2), Johannes Bellm (7).