Battling Vikings succumb to Edinburgh’s strength in depth

Newcastle Vikings’ women’s team competed hard but eventually lost out 15-27 as Edinburgh retained the Scottish Handball league title on Saturday.

Only six Newcastle ladies were able to make the trip north of the border to the Oriam National Performance Centre at Heriot Watt University, due to a combination of illness and unavailability. Edinburgh however, despite having a strong squad of 12 available, volunteered to play with just six players on court for most of the match to make it more even and competitive.

The Vikings put in a really good performance and led for much of the first half. Left-winger Mathilde Bergestad added a hattrick of penalties to her opener, with other goals coming from right-winger Blessing Ogbee, player-coach Marlen Slinning Goulty’s brace and captain Sandra Christke also breaking through from the back-court, while goalkeeper Andrea King made some good saves at the other end. However, the hosts managed to pull it back and then narrowly edge ahead for a 8-9 half-time lead.

The second half saw Edinburgh gradually open out their lead, with their strength in depth coming to the fore as Newcastle’s players tired and a few were forced to take time off court for injuries and suspensions. Bergestad added another penalty and a late sixth, Christke-Lamb netted a treble coming into her natural line position from the wing, and Ogbee struck twice more. But with Edinburgh adding an extra player when in attack once they had effectively already got the game won, they further out-numbered the battling Vikings to extend their lead all the more and add some title-winning gloss to the final 15-27 scoreline.

Newcastle Vikings would like to thank Edinburgh for their generosity and fair play in what was an enjoyable game played in a friendly atmosphere, and congratulate them on retaining the league title.

Meanwhile, Sandra Christke-Lamb’s four goals took her past Judyta Turulska to the top of the Vikings’ all-time league and cup goalscoring chart, and means she now just needs six more strikes to become the first to reach a double-century of goals for the club.

Newcastle Vikings: Andrea King (GK), Marlen Slinning Goulty (2 goals), Mathilde Bergestad (6), Blessing Ogbee (3), Alina Inta, Sandra Christke-Lamb (4).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.