LJMU close in on handball title shot

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LJMU on the defensive against Bangor in their handball match. Pic © Marcello Dotolo JMU Journalism

LJMU Handball Club moved one-step closer to qualifying for the national championships next March after securing a resounding 49-8 victory against Bangor at the weekend.

Star centre Josh Sumner weighed in with 16 goals and 10 assists, providing too much of a threat for the inexperienced opposition who struggled to contain any central position.

Athletic halves, Dan Hooke and Rob McGeachie, took advantage of the lacklustre defence, adding a quarter of the team’s goals between them.

The dominance in the centre left plenty of space for LJMU’s international wingers, Dayle von Morgen and Jacob Koldodziekczak, to grab a couple of goals for themselves.

The result leaves LJMU top of their group with only UCLAN to play.

Club President Dan Hooke told JMU Journalism: “We’re in a very strong position going into the final round of fixtures thanks to our goal difference.

“With the way we are playing, which is easily the best I have seen since I joined the club, I have no doubt that we can do what’s needed against UCLAN to send us through to the finals in March.”

YouTube: Marcello Dotolo

The team put together a strong run in last year’s nationals in Gillingham, narrowly losing out in the quarters to University of Liverpool Handball club. They hope to go all the way this year, having already defeated last year’s champions, Leeds Beckett, in the first game of the season.

The other stand-out side in the group is Durham, who secured a last-minute penalty to equalise an important fixture. Both teams expect to win their final fixtures, which will mean that goal difference will be everything in a tight group.

Only a defeat or match forfeit against UCLAN, a real possibility as they have already pulled out of one fixture so far, can prohibit LJMU’s progression.