Tough Liverpool International Challenge for Vikings and Edinburgh

Newcastle Vikings teamed up with Edinburgh Handball Club to make their clubs’ debut showing at the Liverpool International Handball Tournament last Saturday.

The post-Covid return of the tournament, this year played on a single day rather than over the usual two days, saw combined Newcastle-Edinburgh men’s and women’s teams take to the court at the Greenbank Sports Academy. The men’s team comprised eight Vikings and three Edinburgh players, while the women’s team of four Newcastle and three Edinburgh handballers were also joined by a couple of former Liverpool players and a former Bristol player.

The men’s team’s opening group stage game against Manchester brought a 14-21 loss, before they then suffered a heavier 18-7 defeat to powerful Dutch side Hastu from Nijmegen. The final match against hosts Liverpool was a much closer affair as Newcastle-Edinburgh put in their best team performance of the day and nearly battled their way to a deserved win, but after levelling the score at 10-10 they were unlucky to narrowly go down 11-10 in the dying minutes, which left them 4th in the group.

The scratch women’s team had a similarly tough first match against Team Bergen’s experienced Norwegians which left them well beaten 4-14. A better team performance against this year’s English Regional League North champions Northampton saw the two sides level-pegging each other for much of the game, until the Midlanders pulled away in the latter stages to take it 10-7. Newcastle-Edinburgh nevertheless avoided losing all of their matches with a late interception breakaway equaliser denying the hosts a win and gaining them an 8-8 draw in their final group match, although Liverpool’s better goal difference meant they progressed to the semi-finals.

Congratulations to Hastu and Bergen on winning the LIHT 2022 titles, and thanks to Liverpool Handball Club for hosting a fun and competitive tournament.

Newcastle-Edinburgh Men (goalscorer records not available for Manchester match): Daniel Walsh (GK), Fabian van der Velden, Mateusz Glok, Sam Downie (1), Aaron Edmundson (3 goals), Angel ErKiyo (4), Shawn Anuptra Martin (3), Mahmoud Eladawy, Timo Keller (2), Christos Iliadis (3), Ioan Polenciuc (1).

Newcastle-Edinburgh Women: Kaja Wojtowicz (GK), Kassia McGeoch, Sara Medina Lombardero, Maria Gonzalez Pascual, Romina Schneider (5 goals), Rozsa Szucs (2), Elizabeth Muse (1), Andrea King (4), Angela Martinez, Macia (1), Maria Diaz Fernandez (6).

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