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York women's handball edge thriller

The White Rose secured the first ever Roses handball points during a tight encounter in the tent on Sunday

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York's women's team came through a thrilling encounter to narrowly beat Lancaster 18-17, securing points for the first time in a handball Roses fixture. After its inauguration at last year's tournament, this was the first time points were on offer for both competing teams.

However, Lancaster began the brighter as they opened the scoring early on. While Chrysanthi Stefanou fired home to level matters, the away team were largely in the ascendancy and soon raced into a 3-1 lead. Again, York's resilience was admirable following quick fire goals to tie matters at 4-4. Despite this, Lancaster were not to be perturbed and soared into a 10-7 lead as the half-time whistle brought the first half to a close.

The second half marked the beginning of a rousing comeback from the White Rose. Sarah Zhelka scored the first of the half before Stefanou and then Hannah Newman grabbed goals of their own to level for the third time in the game. Two more goals followed, one for either side, before a timeout was called with the match tied at 11-11. The home team were showing impressive spirit as they refused to allow their opponents to gain an insurmountable lead.

After the timeout, both teams matched each other as they traded goals ensuring that the contest increased in its intensity. With all to play for, neither team were letting the other out of their sight before another timeout was signalled with the score at 14-14.

The White Rose then gained the most notable advantage of the game as Nyegaard-Larsen, Stefanou, Zakira Zulrimi all scored. Another two goals followed prompting jubilant celebrations on the touchline. York were good value for their 18-15 lead yet Lancaster were by no means out of the game. With still time remaining, the away team increased the pressure and soon found two goals to make for a tense end to the half. However, the final stages saw York diffuse the Lancaster attack as they saw out the closing minutes to secure victory.

Speaking after the game, Club President, Chrysanthi Stefanou told Nouse, "I am so glad we won as for most of us it is our last Roses. The team played so well, I was so impressed. I'm really proud of them all."

York: Stefanou, Nyegaard-Larsen, Dixon, Zhelka, Darley, Genina, Newman, Nilsen, Zulrimi, Wilhelmsen, Iversen.

Player of the Match: Chrysanthi Sefanou


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