Victorious Vikings Ladies up to Second as Records Achieved!

Newcastle Vikings’ women’s team moved back up to second place in the Scottish Handball league table with a commanding 14-27 victory over Kelvinside on Saturday. But it was another defeat for the Vikings’ men as they lost 34-28 to Tryst.

After line-player Maria Gonzalez Pascual had opened the scoring for Newcastle, Kelvinside initially surprised the Vikings with some accurate long-range shooting from the back-court to race into a 5-1 lead. However, Newcastle soon re-established their defensive solidity and reeled in the Scots before building a five-goal lead of their own for a 7-12 half-time advantage, thanks to five goals from left-winger Mathilde Bergestad, two each for right-half Alina Inta and player-coach Marlen Slinning Goulty to mark her 50th Vikings league and cup appearance, with further back-court strikes from captain Sandra Christke-Lamb and Alexandra Inta.

The Vikings ladies continued to stretch their lead in the second half, led by a further five strikes from both Christke-Lamb and Alex Inta, with Christke-Lamb’s sixth of the match making her the first Newcastle Vikings player to net 200 league and cup goals. Slinning Goulty added another brace, and Bergestad took her tally to eight, while player-of-the-match Andrea King pulled off some good saves between the posts to back up her team’s strong all-round defensive and attacking performance.

The final 14-27 result jumped Newcastle back up to second in the league table, a point ahead of Troon and three ahead of Tryst who are due to play each other before the latter face the Vikings in what looks set to be a decisive last match of the season, taking place at Newcastle’s Benfield Sports Centre on 29 April.

Newcastle’s men also took their time to get going in the later men’s match at Heriot Watt University’s Oriam sports centre in Edinburgh, with a couple of the team still struggling with recovering from recent illnesses. Tryst were able to dominate and took the opportunity to open out a big 21-12 lead by half-time. Timo Keller and Adam Batley struck four apiece from the back-court for the Vikings, Adam Mobberley netted twice from the line position, while right-half Shawn Anuptra Martin and right-winger Charlie Emmett also got their names on the scoresheet.

However, Newcastle found a second wind and played really well after the break to have the better of the second half overall. Backed up by some big saves from goalkeeper Daniel Walsh, they gradually closed the gap, with player-of-the-match Keller and Mobberley each scoring five more, Batley adding four and Anuptra Martin two. But without the benefit of any substitutes available, tiredness gradually set in and, coupled with a two-minute suspension late in the half, Tryst were able to stretch their lead back out to six by the final whistle and take the 34-28 win.

Captain Mobberley was nevertheless really impressed with how much graft the lads put in and the continuous improvement to make it another really close game. The Vikings’ men’s next match is on 22 April against league leaders Livingston.

Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marlen Slinning Goulty (4 goals), Juliana Souza, Mathilde Bergestad (8), Maria Gonzalez Pascual (1), Alexandra Inta (6), Alina Inta (2), Sandra Christke-Lamb (6).

Newcastle Vikings men: Daniel Walsh (GK), Adam Batley (8 goals), Aaron Edmundson, Adam Mobberley (7), Shawn Anuptra Martin (3), Charlie Emmett (1), Timo Keller (9).

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