Vikings men beat Troon for first Scottish victory

Newcastle Vikings’ men’s team got their Scottish league season underway on Saturday with a convincing 18-31 away win over Troon.

Having opted to drop down into the Scottish development league following a tough winless year in the top flight last season, Newcastle’s men went into this game in good confidence after last month’s 19-32 friendly victory over Durham University.

In this opening league fixture at the Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, in which Newcastle had to borrow a red change kit due to their usual black kit clashing with Troon, the Vikings were led by nine goals apiece from player-of-the-match Marian Machel and left-winger Aaron Edmundson.

Centre Machel struck six from the back-court in the first half, with Edmundson netting five and debutant line-player Anas Sarhane hitting four. Right-half Wiktor Laczny quickly made a scoring return to the Newcastle side with an early brace, after seven years away intermittently playing for Sunderland and guesting for other clubs around the country. Left-half Adam Batley and right-winger Shawn Anuptra Martin also added their names to the scoresheet as Newcastle went into the half-time break with a clear 9-19 advantage.

The second half was a closer lower scoring affair as the Vikings took their foot off the pedal and the defences dominated. While goalkeeper Charlie Emmett pulled off several good saves between the posts, fellow England Handball Academy player Edmundson fired in another four goals for his best Vikings scoring tally. Machel scored three more, Martin and player-coach Batley each added two to their tallies and Laczny hit one more, but the Vikings had had the match won with their strong first-half performance.

The victory was Newcastle’s first match win in the Scottish men’s handball leagues, having lost all of their games in a winless debut season in the development league back in 2013/14 and then, following some more successful years in the English regional leagues pre-Covid, gaining their only points in last season’s return to the Scottish leagues thanks to a forfeited match win. The win places them second in the development league at this early stage of the season.

Newcastle Vikings: Charlie Emmett (GK), Aaron Edmundson (9 goals), Shawn Anuptra Martin (3), Adam Batley (3), Wiktor Laczny (3), Marian Machel (9), Anas Sarhane (4).

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