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Men's Div. 2 A : Crusaders and Thunderball battle
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/4/29 15:30:00 (132 reads)

Flaming Six Crusaders beat Thunderball (Men’s D2A - London Volleyball League)
21:19 15:21 21:13 21:10

before mid match weakness manifested
For a couple of sets this match had the makings of one of the best games of the season but an inexplicable loss of form by Thunderball in the third set led inexorably to a loss of confidence in the fourth and to Crusaders' consolidation of third place in the division.

It all began very well with nothing at all between the teams as the score mounted to 9:9 when some good serving by Jerome Facey and hitting by Federico Andorino enabled Crusaders to move ahead 13:9 despite a time-out at 12:9. The lead soon increased to four points and remained four to 17:13. Suddenly there was a Thunderball revival with Yevgeniy Stotyka serving and Thomas Lucas and Gene Suena attacking and, a home side time-out at 17:15 having failed to stop the slide, it was soon 17:17. Crusaders moved to nineteen. Thunderball levelled the score. Side out brought Chris Taylor to serve and a well-placed ball secured the set.

After losing the opening rally, Thunderball played well in the second although it has to be said that Crusaders were below their best until about mid way through it. The visitors moved further and further ahead to 7:12 after which play was very even but Crusaders were unable to reduce the deficit below five as the set unfolded.

Coach Adam Watkins must have read the Riot Act as the teams changed ends although there was no alteration to the line-up that played the second half of the third. Yet they immediately went 4:0 ahead with Derick Ang serving and rapidly advanced to 8:2. Thunderball heads dropped and only Matteo Nonne's serves led to the winning of points - and these only two, as the side folded. They were only marginally better in this aspect of play in the fourth this time with Jan Lieskovsky's better serving leading to two points although Crusaders reached twenty-one before Matteo could have a second turn at service so much weaker was their resistance.

So a promising game rather fizzled out as Thunderball ended their season and, Crusaders, with one more game in six days time, had rather more to play for.

Battersea Sports Centre, Clapham, 23rd April

Players:
Flaming Six Crusaders
Starting six: Federico Andorino (captain), Marco Andre, Mohamad Arasoghli, Jerome Facey, Axel Hoffschroer, Chris Taylor.
Libero: Arnaud Forget.
Other players: Sander Alewijnse, Derrick Ang, Marco Floridia,
Coach: Adam Watkins

Thunderball
Starting six: Thomas Lucas, Edmond Lee, Matteo Nonne, Yevgeniy Stotyka, Gene Suena, Christopher Yoon (captain).
Libero:
Other players: Jan Lieskovsky, Marcello Paolucci,
Coach: David Galea.

Referee: John Wycliffe

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