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Men's Div. 2 A : Tuskers tussle at Crusaders
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/11/6 16:40:00 (210 reads)

Flaming Six Crusaders beat Tuskers (Men’s D2A - London Volleyball League)
12:21 11:21 21:19 21:13 15:13

Result in doubt to the end
Tuskers looked a different team from their last game and were numerically stronger, for sure, and better prepared for the match, almost certainly. They ran away with the first two sets and came mightily close in the third before folding in the fourth and then mounting a come-back that had the spectators on the edge of their seats.

After a cagy opening by both teams, the score mounted to 3:all but Tuskers then imposed themselves on play and raced to 3:7 and 4:9. Some tremendous play by Tuskers as good as sealed the set as, with Greg Gwinnett serving and with Marcin Krawlzyk and Moro Segu attacking with Jonathan Doyle as front court setter, they moved steadily to 6:17. A time-out at that juncture settled Crusaders to get them into double figures but, after losing service, they yielded to Tuskers. The second set turned out to be too one sided to be exciting. Crusaders played rather better but Tuskers moved steadily further and further ahead until raising their game further at 9:13, brushed off a time-out at 9:16 and took their score to nineteen from which point three rallies going to the receivers gave them a two set cushion.

Crusaders brought on Taimour El Sakka, Marco Floridia and Tim Keane for the third set and, combined with an inspiring team talk from Adam Watkins, they looked a more balanced side. Although they lost a tiny initial lead, they recovered it at 11:10 and a wonderful set ensued, helped by great work from Crusaders' Krasi Zhechev in back court who was determined no ball would hit the floor. Interestingly, Adam took a time out when drawing level at 17:all but it stood the side in good stead when the teams were still level at 19:all for Taimour served nervelessly to set up the next two points. His side were still in the match. Soon afterwards it was the turn of Crusaders' setter, Derrick Ang to produce a run of good serves and it established his side with a 6:1 lead. Tuskers did settle and when they had recovered to 12:10 it looked as though they might finish things off but some good play by the home side, notably by Federico Andorino and Chris Taylor at the net, re-established a significant lead and from 17:13, they polished off the set.

The deciding set alone was worth the train journey to Clapham Junction. Serving, Crusaders took an immediate 2:0 lead only see their opponents turn the tables and take an identical lead at 2:4. Crusaders recovered to lead at 6:5 and were still one point in front when the teams changed ends; still at 13:12. Tuskers then tied things at13:all but failed to score on service to leave Marco to serve for the match. A good serve: a good rally and a good match were Crusaders'.

Great encouragement for the fans as the competition continues. With over thirty present and cheering Crusaders on, the season seems to have a separate competition developing for the most supportive followers.

Battersea Sports Centre, Clapham Junction, 5th November

Flaming Six Crusaders
Starting six: Sander Alewijnse, Federico Andorino, Derrick Ang (captain), Nacho Gil, Chris Taylor, Krasi Zhechev.
Libero: Hilari Cabanes.
Other players: Mohamad Arasoghli, Taimour El Sakka, Marco Floridia, Rafael Jovanelle, Tim Keane,
Coach: Adam Watkins.

Starting six: Chris Brett. Jonathan Doyle (captain), Greg Gwinnett, Marcin Krawlzyk. Peter Nunoo, Moro Segu.
Other Players: Rafau Amibaba, Joseph Barcelina, Alex Lojho , Florin Margarit, Kris Pineda.
Coach: Jonathan Doyle

Referee: John Wycliffe.

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