Cumbernauld handball side Tryst ‘77 men’s team bounced back from the disappointment of a Scottish Cup final defeat to reach the semi-finals of the prestigious Liverpool International Open.
The event, now in its 16th year, featured a mixture of British and foreign teams with this year’s overseas contingent coming from Spain, Denmark, Holland, Norway and Latvia amongst others.
Tryst were in a particularly tough group with last season’s winners, Danish side Copenhagen, unknown opposition from Latvia and experienced campaigners Liverpool Speke Garston.
First up for Tryst were Liverpool Speke Garston, a team they have often faced at the tournament, with most games normally tight, nervous affairs. This one was no different but Tryst eventually won 8-4.
Their next game was against Copenhagen and suspicions were quickly confirmed as Copenhagen proved to be fast, strong and with powerful and skilful players in all positions of their team.
Tryst played significantly better than they had in their opening match and finished with a respectable 12-6 defeat.
In the final group game against Riga both teams knew that the winners would finish runners-up in the group and qualify for the quarter-finals.
Tryst started the better of the two teams and got the early lead which they maintained through the early exchanges.
As Riga pushed to get back on level terms Tryst hit them on a fast break and a couple of late goals saw the Cumbernauld side home by 10-6.
In the quarter-finals Tryst ’77 were up against Ruislip, who finished third in England’s ‘Super 8’ National League.
The teams were only ever separated by a single goal and by full-time the scores were level at 8-8.
A penalty shoot-out followed and with the scores still tied after five penalties each, Tryst prevailed in sudden death to make the semi-finals.
Their opponents were Copenhagen again and, having already surpassed all expectations and with nothing to lose, Tryst went for it.
But the Danes were still too strong and won 10-5 to reach the final where they retained their trophy with an 11-7 win against London Olympia.