Vikings men held to a draw by Kelvinside

Newcastle Vikings Handball Club’s men’s team had to settle for a 27-27 draw with Kelvinside in Saturday’s final Scottish Development League match of the season.

The Vikings went into the game at the Benfield Sports Centre with a strong squad and looking to round off their season with a positive home victory, particularly with Kelvinside only managing to muster 6 players for their trip south of the border.

The first half saw the two teams initially trading goals, captain Adam Mobberley opening the scoring from the right wing, with centre Marian Machel striking a treble, left-half Adam Batley netting a brace and left-winger Aaron Edmundson also firing in on a fast break. Newcastle then gradually asserted a sense of authority to pull away, line player Ioan Polenciuc beating the keeper on the turn, Machel adding another three from the back-court, with two more from Edmundson and one each from Mobberley and left-half Jan Zan. By half-time the home side had opened up a 15-10 lead.

Mobberley’s five second-half goals brought up his century of league and cup goals for the Vikings, making him only the third Newcastle male player (and eighth overall) to reach the 100 goals landmark. Further second half goals came from back-court players Machel and Timo Keller with left-winger Adam Keeney also adding his name to the scoresheet.

But Kelvinside gradually clawed their way back, taking advantage of a few two-minute suspensions for Newcastle players as frustrations grew and led by an impressive 13-goal haul from Marley Bowen to level the scores and briefly take the lead in the closing minutes. The Vikings were ultimately indebted to a string of good saves from goalkeeper and player-of-the-match Charlie Emmet to stem Kelvinside’s comeback, and to Machel’s last minute equaliser that took his personal match tally to ten.

The Vikings players were left somewhat despondent at the final whistle after letting Kelvinside back into it and missing out on a win that would have taken them above Kelvinside into second place in the league. The 27-27 draw leaves them in third place in the final league table, level on points with the Scots but with an inferior goal difference.

Newcastle Vikings: Charlie Emmet (GK), Kimi Karjalainen, Adam Batley (2 goals), Aaron Edmundson (3), Jan Joachim Zan (1), Adam Mobberley (7), Ross Comrie, Timo Keller (2), Marian Machel (10), Adam Keeney (1), Ioan Polenciuc (1).

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