Roses 2016 Preview: Handball

York will take a depleted team to Lancaster to compete in the Handball and could face an uphill task

Image: James Hostford

Women’s Handball edged out Lancaster 18-17 in a dramatic encounter in the Tent last year. Image: James Hostford

Fixtures

Men’s: Friday, 16:30, Sports Centre Hall 1
Women’s: Saturday, 20:15, Sports Centre Hall 1

Image: James Hostford

The atmosphere at the Handball games in 2015 was electric. Image: James Hostford

2015 Results

Men’s: lost 20-23
Women’s: won 18-17

Points Available: 8

Inside Track: Jason Loveridge, Club President

How have the club performed this season?

The club has had to go through substantial rebuilding this season due to losing the vast majority of its members to graduation last summer. Despite this both teams are still competitive and have enjoyed mixed results against local York team York Hunters as well as Leeds Beckett’s handball teams. Both teams have a solid core of first year players which will allow growth over the next few years.

What do you expect from Lancaster?

We expect tough, physical games. Their men’s team is strong this year and ours is plagued by injury but that won’t stop us from giving it all we have. For both clubs this is the biggest opportunity of the year to play competitively so we can expect them to be fired up when we get there. As for the women’s game, it will be equally physical. They didn’t hold back last year and so neither will we. I think this one should be a really good game this year and our women’s team have a great chance thanks to the arrival of new and experiences players.

Which individual players could stand out?

I’m hoping all of our players will turn up on the day and make the big plays they’re capable of. For the men’s team the one to watch is our powerhouse of a line player: Ioan Polenciuc, Lancaster’s defence will have a tough time containing him. He can create a scoring opportunity out of nothing and we’ll be looking to that a lot during the game. As for the women’s team, Jil Gillen is the new star, able to weave through a defence very craftily. Supported by the experience of Helena Osthues and Helene Rusten, she will lead a very dangerous back court.

Why should people come and watch handball?

Handball is fast, physical and exciting. You can expect as many as 40 or 50 goals per game and the sport is so easy to understand making it a great spectator sport. You’ll see slick passing, brutal defence and powerful shots, what more could you want!

Year in a Tweet

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of the University, the Handball Club were able to afford to go to a tournament in Leeds in March.

Nouse Verdict

Handball provided some of the most exciting moments of last year’s Roses and two of the closest games. The men’s team are concerned about absences and injury may will put a brake on their ambitions this year. Either way it’s a fast-paced, physical sport and worth eight points, so could be a key battleground in Lancaster and one on which York should have some success.

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