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London Volleyball : Excellent Cup weekend for London teams
Posted by Media Team on 2018/10/8 7:50:00 (90 reads)

London teams second round (Men's and women’s knock-out Cup)
All Super League sides through
London volleyball was encouraged by the success of its teams in the second round of the national knock-our Cup. Only Richmond lost to opposition from outside the capital and they were facing Super League Wessex and gave them a tough time. All six of its Super League clubs were successful and the signs for the new season are encouraging. Other London sides were beaten by a London side!

Most of the men's matches were played on Saturday (6th October) and first on court were National League first division, London Aces and newly promoted to London League Premier Division, Onyx where the match ended with scenes of wild rejoicing. At Aces' home venue at Lambeth Academy and after losing the first set, Onyx won the next three in a thrilling match which ended in delight for the team and its supporters alongside disappointment for the hosts. It was one of two matches that the draw guarantees the capital two sides in the next round and one in the fourth and Onyx will be at home to Super League IBB Polonia in the third round on 16th November

For it was Super League IBB Polonia that triumphed away to London League Premier Division's ULU at CitySport. The supporters were just as noisy in another excellent match but the players' demeanour was much more of a job well done. Polonia will now be away to Onyx who will undoubtedly be underdogs against last year's losing finalists but are certain to put up a scrap.

The other two sides playing on Saturday were drawn away. Super League Richmond Docklands were in Suffolk to play Newmarket and won comfortably although the third division side performed remarkably well in the second set. (See club's report below) Richmond Docklands will be at home next to second division Manchester Marvels who beat Darkstar Derbyshire in five sets.

Malory Eagles UEL, London's third Super League side were in Melton Mowbray to play second division Lions and won by a remarkably similar score to Richmond Docklands. They will be back in the Midlands in the next round to play another second division side in Black Country who overcame Newcastle Staffs 2 after being given a third set fright.

Lynx, who withdrew from the National League at the end of last season played first division Tendring next day at Leyton VI Form College and won in five tremendous sets. Losing the first and third, they looked vulnerable but played extremely well from that point to grab the two remaining sets. In the next round they will be at home to Super League Sheffield Hallam who eliminated Loughborough Students in three sets: revenge for knocking out their women's side in the first round.

All London's women's games were played on Sunday and, as in the men's competition, the draw produced two matches in which both sides were from London with the winners taking on each other in the third round. In one, Super League Polonia Sideout took on Onyx of the London Premier Division and won in four sets after Onyx had pushed them hard in the first and taken an equally close second before the favourites' greater experience took them to safety. Next up for Polonia will be Lionhearts at their venue.

Lionhearts overcame Inter in the other that took place at Caius House Youth Centre with a morning start where the hosts overcame their close rival in the closest of matches. Both teams play in the London Premier Division and the exciting match anticipated duly took place, the teams winning alternate sets as each strove for control with Lionhearts eventually winning out. They will be at home in the next round.

The afternoon match at Caius House featured Super League Orcas and Midlands' Coventry & Warwick Riga who play in national division two and the home side won quite easily. They will be away to Rhinos (Cambridge), conquerors of Loughborough in the next round.

Polonia IMKA, another London Premier Division side, had a further away game following their successful trip to Richmond in the first round and they and they showed their hosts Essex Trinity no mercy, preventing their score reaching double figures in either of the first two sets and restricting them to ten in the third. IMKA will be away again in the third round to take on Women's Super League Birmingham who needed four sets to beat Reading. A difficult prospect but IMKA are threatening to have their name engraved on the Cup for a second time, having won against the odds in 2011.

Richmond's first team which plays in the second division of the National League had the daunting task of a journey to Super League Wessex where they gave the experienced side a real shock. After competing well in the opening set, they set about attacking their hosts and came within a whisker of becoming the season's giant killers. On this form they must be one of the favourites for the Shield.
Wessex will be away to First Division, Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University in next round after beating Second Division, Lincoln Cannons in three sets.

Malory Eagles UEL of the Super League were drawn to play away against Birmingham 2 of the division below and the home side faded badly against the experience and power of the London players. They will have a home fixture in the second round and face another Super League side in Sheffield Hallam who beat second division York Falcons at home in three sets.

The third round will be played on 17th November.

Saturday 6th October
Newmarket lost to Richmond Docklands, 13:25 18:25 14:25
Melton Lions lost to Malory Eagles UEL, 13:25 19:25 13:25
London Aces lost to Onyx, 25:23 20:25 18:25 21:25
ULU lost to IBB Polonia, 9:25 13:25 20:25

Sunday 7th October
Lynx beat Tendring, 20:25 25:22 19:25 25:20 15:12

Birmingham 2 lost to Malory Eagles UEL, 17:21 14:21 6:21
Orcas beat Coventry & Warwick Riga, 25:8 25:17 25:14
Wessex beat Richmond, 25:16 25:22 25:23
Essex Trinity lost to Polonia IMKA, 7:25 6:25 10:25
London Lionhearts beat London Inter, 25:18 22:25 25:16 19:25 15:6
Polonia Sideout beat Onyx, 26:24 24:26 25:8 25:13

Caius House Youth Centre, Lambeth Academy, Leyton VI Form College, St Benedict's School, 6/7th October.

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

Richmond's Anton Kornilov adds:
Richmond Docklands travelled to Newmarket for the Volleyball England Cup second round match and returned with a resounding victory. The squad was significantly depleted due to the Bello brothers participating in the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, whilst nine club players were called to the England junior training camp. The team battled through heavy traffic and pouring rain to barely make it in time for the warm up.
Putting the challenges of getting the team to the venue behind them, Richmond Docklands capitalised on their superior individual skills and team dynamics to keep the hosts below 18 points in all three sets and qualify for the third round of the Cup where we will play Manchester Marvels at home on 10th November.
Strong serving from Marcin Konpa and Panos Karagiannis, powerful hitting from Vuk Kosanovic and blocking from James Scott in his first official game for Richmond Docklands, along with steady setting from Anton Kornilov and a stable performance of the passing unit contributed to Richmond’s success in this game.
However, the real star of Richmond Docklands was 17-year old Joseph Farren. In his first game for the senior squad he looked in his element among the experienced players delivering prolonged service runs, killing the ball through position four and contributing to the team’s stable passing. Farren deservedly received the Black Knight award for Richmond Docklands' man of the match.

Simon Loftus, IBB Polonia coach expanded:
It was a straight forward win, but I don't think it reflects the standard that we will be up against in the Super League. Our intensity dropped after the first set and there were a lot of changes which didn't help our rhythm. We have two weeks to smooth out some of the issues before we play Richmond Docklands. The new format of the league means that it will be very difficult for us as any loss could have a huge impact on the standings. There are some really strong teams in the league this year and the likes of Essex, Malory and Sheffield have some great athletes and as such we just need to concentrate on getting better every week.
Pre-season training had been quite good. The players are trying to buy into my ideas and philosophy. This takes time and we are starting to see some of the ideas becoming consistently expressed by the team. We could have done with some more matches but we are where we are. We organised some scrimmage games in a short tour and, because the Belgian and Dutch leagues are of a really good standard, the trip was perfect for showing the team what is required to play at a high level. We competed quite well but it was clear for everyone to see we have a long way to go to beat this level of team.
Over the next two weeks, IBB Polonia will focus on training and preparation for the start of the new Super League. The next encounter will be on 20th October away to Richmond Docklands. The first home match will be on 27th October at 4pm.

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