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London Volleyball : At last, Cup success for Richmond Docklands
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2017/11/13 10:40:00 (217 reads)

Knock-out cup (men's and women's English Volleyball Cup)
Sideout, Inter and Eagles women through
A generally good week-end for London in the national knock-out Cup competition, the big disappointment being London Lynx's loss in four sets to opposition from a lower division, the biggest delight being Wapping's defeat of Super8 side, Essex Blaze.

Super 8 Lynx continue to suffer a pitiable season and are now out of the Cup after suffering a four set defeat at home by NVL Division one pace-setters, Durham. The result will do much for the visitors' confidence but little for Lynx. Their next big match is away to Wessex on 2nd December. They will be determined to do better then. They are next at home at UEL on 9th December when they take on IBB Polonia. They would like loads of support for that critical encounter.

Richmond Docklands reached the quarter finals of the National KO Cup for the first time in three seasons after a comfortable 3:0 win over non-league Wombourne. The visitors play in the West Midlands local league and had knocked out national league opposition in the first two rounds of this year’s competition. Therefore, Ruth Hoyoake’s side travelled in the hope of doing some more giant killing.
However, any hopes Wombourne had of another upset were quickly dispelled with Richmond Docklands taking an early 13:4 lead. Strong serving by French duo Mathieu Ras and Flavien Hias was too much for the Wombourne passing unit and the home side ran out easy winners 25:9.
With a crucial Super8s London derby against Malory Eagles next weekend, Richmond Docklands might have wished for a tougher test but Wombourne were unable to provide that. This was clearly demonstrated by the 25:6 scoreline in set two. Richmond Docklands had reduced their error count in the second set and took it in just over one rotation.
Last weekend’s Super8s victory over Lynx had seen a threadbare Docklands limp home with half the team struggling with injuries. So the return of Dankielson Westphal from injury, just in time to face his former team next weekend, will be a welcome sight for coaches Luis Bello and Andy Hopper. Westphal made his presence felt during his short time on court and will no doubt play a key role against Malory.
The third set followed a similar pattern to the first two but on this occasion Wombourne managed to reach double figures. The pattern was set early by Javier Bello who served seven points in a row to take his side 11:2 up.
Richmond Docklands are rewarded with a trip to Sheffield in the quarter finals. Sheffield scraped past Newcastle Staffs in five sets in the third round but by the end of January, Keith Trenam’s side will be stronger and provide a sterner test for Docklands.
Focus now returns to the Super8s with three big matches before Christmas. So far Richmond Docklands’ old rivals Malory have won two and lost one and it’s sure to be a titanic contest at Kingston Arena next Saturday.
The club's Black Knight award went to Panos Karagiannis

Malory Eagles were the only London men's side required to travel and, although they overcame the students from Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University fairly comfortably, they will feel they should have done a little better but will hope to continue their Cup run as they play at home against Wessex in the next round on 27th January, their opponents having progressed with a walk over Darkstar Derbyshire.

IBB Polonia went through after a good contest with New Forest. They won in three sets to guarantee a place in the quarter finals of the competition. It was clear from early on that New Forest wanted to upset the form guide and win the game. They were very focussed on the task in hand. They had nothing to lose and played a very high risk strategy which worked very often for them. They managed to win clusters of points and in turn Polonia managed to raise its game and gain a similar advantage over them.
Team captain Dorian Poinc said afterwards, "The victory certainly raised the team's spirits. We still have some aspects of our game that need improving, but we are motivated and each game we want to improve. We will do everything in our powers to prove that IBB Polonia London is the best in the Cup and League."
The game was started in slightly unusual circumstances: a minute's silence was observed by both teams, officials and spectators to mark Remembrance Day. Moreover, this season, IBB Polonia London commemorates Poland’s Independence Day on the match shirts. The logo features “Niepodlegla” This indicates the 100 years since Poland gained its independence in 1918.

Next day Wapping Wildcats produced what must surely be the best London performance of the week-end by coming back from two close sets down to beat Essex Blaze.

Just fourteen hours after winning a titanic five set Women's Super8 match against Pulsepoint Orcas, Polonia Sideout were on court again, once more away from home. Clearly not wanting another long match, they started on their opponents, Richmond, with a vengeance and only in the third set did they relax slightly.

Orcas were to enjoy only a couple of hours more rest before travelling to Brentford to face IMKA, the other Polonia side. We are waiting to hear how they got on.

Unlike their male neighbours in Derbyshire, the Nottinghamshire women of Ashfield Vipers did travel to London to face Inter. As might be expected against a team one division below in the NVL, our London side proved a lot too strong but the visitors made the Division 2 (South) leaders maintain their concentration and the two teams produced an entertaining match.

ULU are traditionally strong opponents and women's NVL division one Malory Eagles had to work hard for victory. The third set was particularly tough after two 25:19 set wins but Eagles managed to shade it at the last.

Men's Cup
Lynx lost to Durham, 21:25 21:25 25:20 22:25
Richmond Docklands beat Wombourne, 25:4 25:6 25:10
Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University lost to Malory Eagles 15:25 17:25 16:25
IBB Polonia beat New Forest, 25:18 25:16 25:19

Women's Cup
Richmond lost Polonia Sideout, 9:25 11:25 18:25
Ashfield lost London Inter 10:25 3:25 11:25
Malory Eagles beat ULU, 25:19 25:19 25:23
Polonia IMKA v PulsePoint Orcas, result awaited

Men's Cup
Wapping Wildcats beat Essex Blaze 21:25 22:25 25:22 25:18 15:13

Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre, Kingston College, St Benedict's School, 11th and 12th November

Includes material kindly provided by Andy Hopper and Katarzyna Strag

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