Vikings doubly victorious in Leeds!

Newcastle Vikings claimed a fantastic double double over Leeds Carnegie on Sunday. The Vikings women scored a resounding 29-1 victory, while the men’s team won 27-22 to stretch their unbeaten league run to five matches and move them up to 2nd place in the England Handball North Regional Development League.

The away wins at Leeds Metropolitan University’s sports centre added to Newcastle’s respective 25-3 and 26-19 home victories back in November. Judyta Turulska, captain Sandra Christke and Vikings’ head coach Marlen Slinning led the way for the dominant women’s team, scoring six goals apiece. They were ably backed up by four goals each from Marie-Louise Brevet and Sofie Vaula, with Kathryn Powell also scoring a brace and Blessing Ogbee getting on the scoresheet for the first time this season.While several chances to rack up an even bigger win went astray, Newcastle were little troubled defensively throughout the match, so the home team’s second-half consolation goal was somewhat agonising for the Vikings as they looked well set to keep a clean sheet. The 29-1 win reinforced Newcastle’s third place standing in the league as they narrowed the gap to leaders NEM Hawks and Liverpool.

The Vikings men’s team went into the match missing several regular players, so it was a chance for others to step up to the mark, and that they did. Some brilliant goalkeeping from Mike Cooke in the first half and Dan Walsh in the second half, supported by solid defensive work by Craig Swanson in particular, helped foil many of the Leeds attacking plays as the Vikings built a strong advantage at the other end of the court.

Newcastle’s goalscoring was lead by new centre Amaury Michelant’s debut eight goals, with seven from Jonathan Bastit and four from Mark Harrison. But it was setting up younger brother Tom Harrison to claim his first senior goal for the Vikings in their 27-22 victory that clearly satisfied Mark far more. Their fourth league win on the trot takes Newcastle’s men level on points with Bolton Hussars at the top of the league.

Newcastle Vikings men and women will be looking to make it a quadruple of victories over the Leeds handball teams this Saturday as they both take on Leeds University. Come along and support them from 4pm at Temple Park Leisure Centre in South Shields.

Newcastle Vikings women: Andrea King (GK), Marie-Louise Brevet (4 goals), Marlen Slinning (6), Sofie Vaula (4), Gesa Junge, Blessing Ogbee (1), Judyta Turulska (6), Kathryn Powell (2), Sandra Christke (6).

Newcastle Vikings men: Daniel Walsh (GK), Mike Cooke (GK), Amaury Michelant (8 goals), Craig Swanson (1), Scott Garrow (2), Robert Thompson, Thomas Harrison (1), Jack Woods (2), Jonathan Bastit (7), Matthew Lamb (2), Mark Harrison (4).

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