A fantastic afternoon of handball saw Newquay take on the might of Plymouth University in a competitive friendly match at the university campus. What ensued was a hard-fought physical encounter that ended in a six point victory for Plymouth.
Bringing a squad eight strong, Newquay started with Geoff Muskett in goal, Lee Springlett left back, a not-fully-fit player/coach Jürgen Koenen at the back, Dan Code right back, Hauke Moll left wing, Kev Welsh circle player, Eddie Percy-Hughes right wing, with newcomer Alex Richards on the bench. Plymouth fielded an impressive outfit with quality and experience from seasoned players, plus talented load signings from Marjon.
The first third was dominated by Plymouth University seeing them take a lead of 13-5 as Newquay struggled to stand up to the physicality of the Plymouth team.
After a pep talk from the coach, the second third was a much closer affair as Newquay kept discipline, formation and played a more patient game. Some smart moves created space for the increasingly effective left winger Hauke who was a thorn in the side of Plymouth all afternoon. Solid performances from Lee, Alex and Dan, goals from Hauke, Eddie, Jürgen and a penalty from Kev meant Newquay held their own in the middle third, going into the final period 23-14 down.
Nursing an existing double hamstring injury, Newquay had to play the final third without the class and experience of Jürgen Koenen. After a shakey start Newquay engaged the after burners, upping the tempo with quicker passes which caused problems in the Plymouth defence. Lee Springlett struck with a trademark leap after another probing run from left back. Trickster Hauke was now in full flow, teasing defenders and scoring some outrageous goals from the left wing position. Eddie’s stamina and impressive movement created space, and goals, for himself and others. Add to the mix solid a solid Alex with basketball skills showing though, 4 penalty saves from Geoff, and Kev at the back stopping players shooting by whatever means. Newquay could smell an unlikely comeback.
With debutant Dan Code bagging 4 goals in almost as many minutes, Newquay were ontop and had the bit between their teeth. It was full steam ahead for the visitors.
Another goal from Eddie ultimately proved to be too little too late as the clock was against Newquay. Given another 5 minutes the outcome may have been different as Newquay’s confidence grew and grew.
Ending 30 points to 24, Plymouth arose victorious. A fine team and great game, bring on the rematch, potentially to be held on Newquay turf – or sand!
More pictures here