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Latest News - London Teams
London Volleyball : Men's Sad Saturday, women's Super Sunday
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2018/1/29 12:20:00 (121 reads)

Three men's teams out, both women's through (Men's and women’s knock-out Cups and Shields)
Aces, Dartford and Richmond through in Shield
One was bound to go as Wapping were playing IBB Polonia, but the men's teams of Richmond Docklands and Malory Eagles fell by the wayside too. More happily, Aces are through in the Shield. One of the women's teams was bound to go too as Malory Eagles were drawn against Orcas and the Super8 side prevailed. Polonia Sideout go through in the Cup with Dartford, Richmond and Polonia IMKA still in the Shield

The game at Britannia was both entertaining and informative. It was entertaining because, although London Premier Division's Wapping Wildcats did not play at all badly in the first set against Super8 IBB Polonia, they had no answer to the power and accuracy of the visitors' attacks which started in the very first rally, Mateusz Dziwierek hitting down the line on the right and which he, Robert Nicholson and Michal Bartoszak continued throughout. Wildcats tried to match them but had no reliable answer. They did much better in the second by using more brain and less brawn along with some excellent serving and Polonia looked disconcerted by it. However, they came out for the third playing a more thoughtful and accurate game and, well as Wildcats played and hard as they tried, the Super8 side, as would have been expected, showed much greater class.
It was informative as we often hear questioned the comparative quality of London and National League volleyball. This game seemed to show the former is pretty good but it would be an indictment of our top teams if the two had been comparable, of course. Wildcats demonstrated they are on the right track. Javier Daga and Marcin Konpa showed they could match their opposite numbers in power and direction and the sides' principal difference seemed to me to be tactical combined most noticeably with the quantity as well as the quality of the blocking and it was clear this derived from a very talented setter and Bartosz Kisielewicz was masterly. Of course, he was in turn helped by an efficient back court display so, in the final analysis this was a great team effort from a side that looks much better than the Polonia I saw at the start of the season. Wapping must be proud of their players' performance.
Dorian Poinc, IBB Polonia receiver said after the match, "We showed real team spirit. We were better in all aspects and we were motivated in producing a quick result. It’s great to play with Bartek. His experience and abilities allow us the freedom with which we played. His style suits me down to the ground and I know he will give me a perfect ball each time. Thanks to this, my effectiveness has improved and I can be used regularly in attack."
It was encouraging to see a sizable crowd of spectators: some eighty in all, mostly made up of roughly equal numbers of Wapping and Polonia supporters but with a sprinkling of beach players from the courts outside who decided to come into the warm and dry from the damp and drizzle. They were well rewarded.

Only a week ago Malory Eagles beat Wessex, 27:25 28:26 19:25 25:14 in the super8s at home but the seasiders got their revenge in the Cup. Furthermore, they needed just three sets to do it although all three were very close. They will face IBB Polonia in the semi-finals on 24th February.

A fortnight before Christmas Richmond Docklands took Sheffield Hallam to four sets in Kingston but, away in South Yorkshire, Richmond Docklands’ KO cup campaign came to an abrupt end in the quarter finals against a strong Sheffield side. Luis Bello’s team travelled with only eight players and without a regular opposite player. Joaquin Bello stepped up to the challenge opposite his brother Javier and did a great job but a high error count cost Docklands against a clinical Sheffield team.
Keith Trenam’s Sheffield are an athletic group of well drilled players and their strength showed early in the match. Docklands made a total of 13 unforced errors in set one and gifted Sheffield an easy start to the match.
Richmond Docklands recovered towards the end of the set and built some valuable momentum for set two. This told as the second set started evenly and Sheffield only led 8:7 at the first technical time out. But Sheffield took control shortly after and were 16:12 up at the second enforced stoppage. Sixteen year old Noah Goalen made his debut for Richmond’s Super8s team as a serving substitute but the set was gone and Sheffield closed out the set 25:19.
Docklands showed glimpses of what they can do in the third set with Vuk Kosanovic and Flavien Hias enjoying success in the middle and captain Andrew Pink producing a stunning block on his opposite number Iain McKellar. But Sheffield were simply too strong and efficient in attack. Docklands had brought their own error count under control but Sheffield produced a faultless display to gain a deserved place in the semi final where they’ll face Team Northumbria.
Captain Pink commented after the match, “It wasn’t a vintage performance but given the constraints on the playing personnel, we can take heart from how we played in stages. Next week’s league match will be interesting”.
Black Knight: Joaquin Bello

In the Shield, Tamworth, looking strong in Division 3 Central of the men's national League, came to Lambeth where Aces showed both their experience and their promise although they relaxed a bit to create an exciting third set. Overall though their experience in Division one made them just too strong as they progressed to the semi final of the men's Shield where they will meet Tendring at home on 24th February.

London's two women's Super8 sides progressed in the Cup but Division 1 Malory Eagles showed why many are joining the band that sees them back among the elite teams next season. Unbeaten in the league so far they won the first and third sets in an historic five set battle against Orcas, losing only 11:15 in the well contested final set.

Tendring, after a relatively poor opening set for them, made Polonia Sideout work for victory and took their visitors to 25:27 and 22:25 in the two excellent last sets. Sideout will now face Northumbria in the semi final, scheduled for 25th February, and Orcas will take on Durham. Orcas will be at home and Poloina will play away in the north-east.

In the women's Shield Dartford had a good three set win over Southampton and Richmond beat Ashcombe fairly comfortably although made to work a bit harder in the second set. Their match in the previous having been delayed until a week ago, Polonia IMKA's visit to play New Forest has been put back a week and the winner will play Dartford in the quarter final..


Results
Saturday
Men's Cup
Sheffield beat Richmond Docklands, 25:17 25:19 25:17
Malory Eagles lost to Wessex, 22:25 22:25 23:25
Wapping Wildcats lost to IBB Polonia, 11:25 23:25 16:25

Men's Shield
Aces beat Tamworth Spartans, 25:16 25:12 24:26 25:15

Sunday
Women's Cup
Tendring lost to Polonia Sideout, 15:25 25:27 22:25
Malory Eagles lost to Pulsepoint Orcas, 25:23 13:25 25:23 17:25 11:15

Women's Shield
Dartford beat Southampton, 25:12 25:15 25:18
New Forest v Polonia IMKA, rescheduled for 4th February
Richmond beat Ashcombe, 25:16 25:22 25:19

Britannia Leisure Centre, Dartford Technical College, Ernest Bevin College, Kingston College Arena, Lambeth Academy, 27/28th January.

Including reports gratefully received from Andy Hopper and Katarzyna Strag

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