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Latest News - London Teams
Men's Div. 2 B : Fireball celebrate escaping Lynx challenge
Posted by Douglas Barr-Hamilton on 2018/2/3 18:00:00 (347 reads)

Fireball beat Lynx 2 (Men’s D2B - London Volleyball League)
21:15 22:20 21:16

International crowd cheer defence
A game that was entertaining and full of skill was played out before an appreciative crowd in Paddington Green and, although all three sets were well contested, the home side ran out clear winners to maintain their place near the top of the division's league table.

The opening rally was a long one that eventually went Lynx's way and it was followed by one quite a lot shorter that Fireball took to level the scores. The gap remained at a single point until Fireball went two up at 12:10 then five at 15:10. However, Lynx responded magnificently starting with two hits off the block by Aaron Higgins, an ace serve by Wicktor Szatanolu, the ball a centimetre inside the base line followed by another that induced a dig that skewed pass. Soon it was 15:all and it looked as though Lynx were back in the game. Alas, facing some targeted serving by Nicolas Vecchione, they fell apart. They seemed badly to miss a coach to settle them or give advice but their regular mentor, Gary Beckford had told me that today produced an unavoidable clash. He runs a junior coaching session every Saturday with 20-30 young people from all over and the session really needed him as his usual deputies were unavailable. Antonio had surgery last Friday and Mohammed had family commitments.

Lynx recovered their poise by the start of the second set which was excellent and a great advertisement for London volleyball: not only did it look good in an excellent venue, with three competent match officials and two well turned out teams playing skilful volleyball but the play so enlivened the spectators that the noise was remarkable. So was the fact that four of those cheering had made this their first stop on a visit to London having come straight from Heathrow Airport after an early morning flight from Berlin. Lynx played very well indeed and Fireball were not ahead on the score-board until 19:18, having been down 15:17 on one of the few occasions the lead was more than a single point. Both sides continued to play well and Lynx immediately go onto terms once more but never got their noses in front again and eventually lost the set to a lob deep into the back corner.

Levelling the score at 1:all got the home crowd singing, "Fireball, Fireball, .." to the tune of the chorus of John Brown's body, but it did more for Lynx more that for Fireball and the home side were quickly 2:5 down. It was only temporary and after a short set had allowed Rob Wykes to thrash down a winner to make it 7:8. Lynx called the time-out that was needed. Sadly they needed another one on medical grounds at 11:all when Wicktor hurt his arm. Fortunately he recovered and was playing well again almost immediately. However, Fireball raised their game too and the final part of the game was the best of the afternoon and the home side shaded it.

Not mentioned by name in this report but most worthy of being praised for their performance are the two sides' setter: Moritz Clauberg for Fireball and Michael Nguyen for Lynx and it is also important to record the improvement made by the young Lynx squad since October. When these teams met early in the season, their score did not reach double figures in any of the three sets. Here they were not far from being the better side. Their future opponents should take note.

Westminster College, Paddington Green, 3rd February.

Starting Six: Leonado Blonda, Daniel Carrarde, Moritz Clauberg, Herve Mottais, Nicolas Vecchione, Rob Wykes (captain).
Libero; Rizen Banares.
Other players: Joris Afriat, Krzysztof Dorosz, Jay Sangha,
Coach: Marcelo Cordova.

London Lynx 2
Starting Six: Mohammed Ahmed, Aaron Higgins, Michael Nguyen (captain), Xuanthe Nguyen, Wicktor Szatanolu, David Tran.
Other players:

Referee: Alex Pavkov
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