After last weekend’s victories, Newcastle Vikings men’s and women’s teams suffered contrastingly tough defeats away to Leeds University in Sunday’s England Handball North Regional Development League fixtures in Bradford. The Vikings women battled all the way before cruelly losing by just one goal 23-22, but the men’s team fell to a heavy 31-18 defeat.
Newcastle’s ladies had taken an early lead through half Judyta Turulska, soon followed by goals from fellow back-court players Rebecka Östergren and Alina Inta, but the Leeds students pulled back to 6-6 mid-way through the half before taking the lead themselves. Further strikes from Turulska, Östergren, Inta and captain Sandra Christke from the line position, together with some fine goalkeeping including a diving penalty save from Andrea King, nevertheless helped keep the Vikings in the game before Inta’s penalty strike levelled things up 11-11 at half-time.
Östergren’s quick-fire hat-trick and Blessing Ogbee’s goal from the right-wing put Newcastle in the ascendancy again at the start of the second half. Inta added two more penalties to her tally while centre Östergren had notched up eight goals for the game before injury forced her off, leaving the depleted Vikings team with just six players for the closing minutes in the absence of any substitutes. But despite King’s best efforts between the posts and some dogged defending all round, the tiring Vikings were unable to prevent Leeds regaining the lead towards the end, and a last minute strike from left-winger Krystina Coulson proved just not quite enough as Newcastle fell agonisingly short of claiming a deserved draw.
An early brace from half Stephan Stricker got the Vikings men going in their match, before strikes from line-player Holger Schulz and captain David Topacho preceded a double from centre Peter Schichtel and Mohammed Ghuloum. But Leeds were proving the stronger team and despite further goals from winger Adam Mobberley, Stricker, Johannes Bellm and Schulz, it was the home side who held a 16-11 half-time advantage.
The second half turned into an altogether frustrating and somewhat scrappy affair as Newcastle’s men failed to make the most of their attacking opportunities. Leeds continued to stretch their lead, while goals from Topacho, Thomas Harrison, Bellm and two each for Stricker and Schulz were all the Vikings could muster in return. 31-18 the final score to Leeds University.
Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Judyta Turulska (4 goals), Krystina Coulson (1), Rebecka Östergren (8), Blessing Ogbee (1), Alina Inta (6), Sandra Christke (2).
Newcastle Vikings men: Daniel Walsh (GK), Mark Harrison (GK), Matthew Lamb, Thomas Harrison (1 goal), Craig Swanson, Mohammed Ghuloum (1), Adam Mobberley (1), Peter Schichtel (2), Jonathan Bastit, Stephan Stricker (5), David Topacho (2), Holger Schulz (4), Johannes Bellm (2).