South West Handball saw the newest team, Newquay Handball Club, continue their league adventure by playing hosts to one of the founder members, Bristol. A score line of 27-17 in favour of the visitors, whilst not a massive defeat, does not tell a true story of what proved to be a bruising encounter.
High spirited Newquay were boosted by the presence of David Santos and Adolf Botat, both quality additions to the squad that performed so admirably against Bath three weeks previous.
Bristol took the advantage in the easily stages, converting their chances while Newquay were narrowly off target on a few occasions. A five goal gap soon opened up.
With some tactical adjustments from coach Koenen, Newquay got themselves back in the game. Some magnificent finishing from Portuguese star Santos coupled with some strong and organised defending from Muller-Forster, Koenen and Botat, kept Newquay within touching distance of the experienced Bristol outfit.
Second half – all to play for
With Newquay still only 5 goals down entering the second half, Bristol – having expected to steam-roller Newquay – came out fighting. They looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck and silence the home fans. Newquay had other ideas. More goals from Santos and Koenen, quality finishes from Kevin Welsh, and lightning fast breaks from Eddie Percy-Hughes, meant Newquay were still in contention coming into the final 10 minutes.
Injuries and suspensions
A gruelling game was now taking it’s toll as Newquay were picking up battle injuries. Koenen suffered and arm injury, and Santos hobbled off clutching a knee. Add to this duel suspensions, and the doors opened for Bristol to take charge of the game. With depleated Newquay now chasing the game, Bristol were able to increase the deficit, much to the frustration of Newquay players.
A team in it’s infancy
A disappointing result, however much can be learned from the encounter, and taken into following games. Newquay, as a team building for a long term future, will only be stronger the more the season goes on. Players will gel, and the team gains more experience with every game.
On the 24th November, 1.30pm throw off, Newquay are at home to Oxford, the current league leaders. It is sure to be another tough test but Newquay are a team on a mission, hungry for game time and looking for that first league victory.