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Men's Div. 2 A : Onyx overpower Tunnel Diggers
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/10/9 21:00:00 (222 reads)

Tunnel Diggers lost to Onyx B (Men’s D2 A - London Volleyball League)
8:21 13:21 9:21

Late start delays damage
Here's a new reason for starting your volleyball match late. There was unrest in the prison at lunch so as many staff as possible were diverted to calm things down and lock all the prisoners in their cells. As a result nothing was ready at the scheduled 1.30 start time.

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Onyx start to assemble outside the main gate

And then several P E had to go and collect the players from among their guests to delay things further so it was exactly an hour late when the match started. Play could have continued all afternoon but referee, Marcelo Radovan had to be at work at 5 o'clock so needed to rule that the game would be "time-limited" to finish at 3.30. As it happened, Onyx had their own reasons to try to finish the match quickly; coach Heiner Alzate and three of the supporters needed to be at Bacon's College in Rotherhithe for their women's division two match against SQUAD. They started at a tremendous pace.

After winning the first rally, setter Luciano Quercia put in a stupendous spell of serving to which Diggers had no answer and they were rapidly 0:10 down. Just the single point that stopped the run encouraged the home side but they remained under the cosh and were quickly changing ends having scores only eight points, only eight but a good enough score considering their start.

Diggers were better in the second set and scrambled for everything while Onyx were too casual. They enjoyed a tiny early lead but Diggers went a point ahead at 8:7 and two at 10:8. Onyx acquired a ninth point with a good block from Audrius Tracaikas but the tenth came from a Diggers return that landed a fraction from the side line - so close that leaving it looked a risky choice and Heiner called a time-out to scold his players. They responded well and after a couple of ace serves from Norbertas Rauba, it was left to Luciano, on rotating to serve again, to exert the pressure that took the second set.

Onyx continued to look in control of the third set but Diggers battled on and were only adrift three points at 7:10. After that the gap gradually increased but, at ten past three with the score 9:18, Heiner decided he really ought to be on the road to East London so called a time-out. It may have wasted thirty seconds but Luciano was serving and he did not waste a moment more.

A good start to the season for Onyx then but future matches will be much tougher and even the return game against Tunnel Diggers may not be as straightforward. I noticed in the changing room a poster seeking volleyball players. In the past, Diggers have found some talent among their guests. I suspect there is some more and they will be practicing seriously.

HMP Wormwood Scrubs, East Acton, 8th October

Tunnel Diggers
From: Lee Allen, Beau Page, Cliff da Costa, Phil Dyer, Mo Hussein, Tony McCann, Tommy Stenhaug, Daniel Thomas.
Coach: Tony McCann,

Onyx B
Starting Six: Luiz Duarte, Jezy Jurgelianecas, Luciano Quercia, Norbertas Rauba, Karlis Skrastins, Audrius Tracaikas
Ales Opatrny.
Libero: Filipe de Almeida, Jordan Joven,
Other players: Artem Chubazov, Janusz Piatek.
Coach: Heiner Alzate.

Referee: Marcelo Radovan.

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