Cumbernauld handball star helps GB to silver medal success

Cumbernauld teenager Craig Yule help GB under-18s win handball silver at the IHF Trophy in Kosovo
Cumbernauld teenager Craig Yule help GB under-18s win handball silver at the IHF Trophy in Kosovo

A Cumbernauld teenager has helped to make a little bit of handball history with the Great Britain under-18 squad.

Tryst 77 player Craig Yule returned from the International Handball Federation Trophy in Kosovo with a silver medal after the first ever participation by a GB team in the final of an official IHF tournament.

The 17-year-old Greenfaulds High pupil and his team-mates began with a game against hosts Kosovo who, with home advantage and lots more team preparation, started strongly and raced into a seven-goal lead.

And although GB started to come back into the game, in the second half Kosovo stepped up a gear and easily won 33-24.

The following day GB played Albania and instantly took control of the game. The GB boys were taking their chances, none more so than Craig whose impressive haul of 10 goals gave GB their biggest international victory, 47-19.

After a well earned rest day the GB boys then played a strong Moldova team knowing a win would put them in the final with unbeaten Kosovo.

They started well, matching Moldova goal for goal until a few missed GB chances gave Moldova a five-goal lead at half-time.

However the GB boys battled back to a fabulous 26-24 win and a first ever place for a British handball in an IHF tournament final.

The final against Kosovo saw a much improved GB display from the first encounter. Kosovo tried to pull away but the GB boys kept battling back and taking their chances.

But a few two-minute suspensions for GB were costly in the second half as Kosovo managed to creep two goals ahead with two minutes to go. GB then rushed their next couple of attacks trying to close in on Kosovo and were hit on the fast break, leading to Kosovo winning 36-31.

Although disappointed with this loss, Craig and his team mates did themselves and British handball proud.

Craig is one of many international players and coaches from Tryst ’77 Handball Club, based at the Tryst Sports Centre in Cumbernauld.

He has played handball since the age of seven and spent five years with the Tryst minis and transition teams competing in the Scottish Cup each year.

From age 12-15 Craig played for the Tryst under-16s team, travelling with the club to Sweden twice to compete in the Partille Cup and also winning the Scottish Cup and League regularly.

Scottish international recognition followed and Craig was also named Scotland under-16 player of the year.

As an under-18 player Craig helped Tryst win the Scottish League, undefeated for two years, and the Scottish Cup and currently plays for the Tryst 77 senior men’s team, where he is starting left wing.