Since its formation in October 2012 the members of Newquay Handball Club have been practising technique, positional awareness, tactical strategies and more under the experienced guidance of coach Jürgen Koenen. All of this training was put to the test in the first handball tournament of its kind in Plymouth.
The tournament consisted of 2 teams from Plymouth Marjon, 1 team from Plymouth Uni and Newquay HC. Plymouth uni in particular consisted of some high profile and very experienced handball players.
In at the deep end, first up for Newquay was Plymouth Uni. Starting with Geoff Muskett in goal, Lee Springlett at right back, Jürgen Koenen at centre back, Kev Welsh at left wing, Hauke Moll circle player, Ben left wing and a stand in player at left back. Boosted by the presence of sidelined star player Alan Ledger, Newquay put in a spirited performance which ended in a score line of 4-8; reflective of the relative experience levels of the teams. A lesson in handball that would be quickly leaned from in the next game against Marjon A.
This next game saw the return to nets for Kev, a natural born goalkeeper. Hauke moved to the left wing and Geoff took his position as circle player. A tight, low scoring game panned put thanks to some first class goalkeeping from Kev and some controversial refereeing decisions to disallow 2 Newquay goals from Ben for encroachment into the area. Goals from Hauke, Lee and Geoff took the score to 3-4. With 5 seconds remaining, spectators began the countdown to a Marjon victory, when Jürgen picked up the ball in midfield and drove at Marjon defence, finding Geoff with a deft pass, who found a yard of space to shoot and score; earning a well deserved draw for Newquay.
The final game was a second place playoff against Marjon B, who dispatched Marjon A 7-6 in the opener and went down 3-10 against Plymouth Uni. With the improved formula of battle wounded kev in goal, Geoff as circle player, Lee, Ben, Hauke, and Jürgen in the same positions as previous game, Newquay went into the game better prepared. Another close encounter ensued that could have gone either way way. After goals from all the outfield players, Newquay found themselves 7-8 down with only a few minutes remaining on the clock. They then sparked into action, bagging 3 to take the score to 10-8. A magnificent and memorable victory that secured second place, a fine achievement for the growing team.
(more pictures: www.handball.juergen-koenen.co.uk )
An outright success, the Plymouth handball tournament was enjoyed by all that took part or watched. Future tournaments will only be bigger and even better as more teams from the South West are invited to compete.
Newquay Handball Club are inviting new players to join the sport, the first session is free so come a give handball a try! Training is held at Newquay Treviglas School Sports Hub, Tuesday’s 8-9.30pm. However this may change to Thursday’s. Stay tuned on the website for updates.