Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s women’s team scored a convincing 29-8 victory away to Leeds Carnegie on Saturday, but their men’s team went down to a 19-27 defeat to the table-topping Leeds Beckett University club the following day.
The women’s match saw the Leeds students take an early lead, before Maren Liane’s brace from the right-half position soon put the Vikings ahead and the Newcastle side never looked back. Captain Sandra Christke on the line, left-winger Blessing Ogbee, centre Rebecka Östergren and left-half Judyta Turulska all added their names to the scoresheet in turn, while goalkeeper Andrea King denied Carnegie a penalty shot before they missed another.
Ogbee’s second was quickly followed by three more from Christke and further goals from Östergren and Liane, and then a brilliant hat-trick of flying wing strikes from an on-fire Ogbee as the Leeds side struggled to contain the Vikings attacking plays. Turulska, Liane and Christke rounded off the first half’s scoring as the Vikings went into the break with a big 18-5 lead.
Turulska’s hat-trick of goals soon extended Newcastle’s lead at the start of the second half, but while the defence line remained solid, in taking the opportunity to experiment with some positional changes they seemed to lose some of their attacking flow and shooting accuracy. Östergren nevertheless picked up three from the line position, split only by Ogbee’s sixth in arguably her best game for the Vikings. Turulska scored her sixth from centre, while Liane added another before going off injured leaving Newcastle short-handed for the final minutes of the game. But it didn’t prevent Östergren and Turulska adding to their tallies as the Vikings ladies gained their biggest win of the season so far, 8-29 the final score.
The men’s game on Sunday saw both teams trade goals throughout a fairly even first half. Captain David Topacho once again lead the way for Newcastle with early goals either side of a brace from centre Mohammed Ghuloum. Right-half Jonathan Bastit’s effort was followed by another Ghuloum brace, while strikes from fellow back-court players Stephan Stricker and Topacho were interspersed by goals from wingers Niall Flanagan and Matthew Lamb. Leeds nevertheless just edged the scoring 13-12 at the break.
However, the second half turned out to be a more frustrating affair for the Vikings as they struggled to take their opportunities to keep pace with Carnegie’s scoring at the other end. Craig Swanson scored from the line position, Stricker and Lamb picked up their second goals while Ghuloum and Topacho added their fifth strikes, before late goals from wingers Flanagan and Adam Mobberley. But the home side ran out clear 27-19 winners in the end.
Both Newcastle Vikings teams go into the Christmas and New Year break sitting in second place in their respective England Handball North Regional Development League tables.
Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Judyta Turulska (7 goals), Krystina Coulson, Maren Liane (5), Blessing Ogbee (6), Sandra Christke (5), Rebecka Östergren (6).
Newcastle Vikings men: Daniel Walsh (GK), Mark Harrison (GK), Florencio ‘Kole’ Viejo-Cabellero, Matthew Lamb (2 goals), Craig Swanson (1), Thomas Harrison, Mohammed Ghuloum (5), Adam Mobberley (1), Niall Flanagan (2), Jonathan Bastit (1), Stephan Stricker (2), David Topacho (5), Holger Schulz.