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Latest News - London Teams
NVL Super 8 : Defaulted matches mar the day
Posted by Media Team on 2019/4/9 8:19:44 (41 reads)

Aces lose out, Polonia men and Orcas women gain (men's and women's National League)
Richmond Docklands miss out by a whisker
Losing the two opening sets away in Newcastle, Staffs. meant that Richmond Docklands destined themselves to second place behind Malory Eagles in the lower section of the Super League. The two clubs finished the season equal on points with Malory having a better sets won/lost difference of just a single one. With a better points record, Docklands would have taken the honour had just one set been lost.

It was the only one of London's other Saturday fixtures played to the frustration of many supporters expecting to watch some great volleyball. That was the men's Super League match between Newcastle, Staffs. and Richmond Docklands which proved to be much closer than many expected. Having lost the two opening sets each by 25:23, Docklands had missed the possibility of finishing sixth but they showed great character and a massive amount of skill and determination in taking the next three sets to finish the league season equal on points with rivals Malory Eagles despite their beating them three times during the campaign.

Bureaucracy reigned in Brentford and Battersea as Durham were unable to send complete teams because of doubts about the terms in some student visas allowing the player to compete in a national league. Durham forfeited the points. IBB Polonia and Orcas added them to their total. It was disappointing for Polonia in particular as it would have prepared them for their high profile final league match at Crystal Palace on 14th April as well providing a dress rehearsal for the Cup final on 27th April

Aces in their turn failed to raise a team to travel to Sunderland and forfeited the game. The result was a top of the table spot for their opponents which they retained when nearest rival Tendring lost twice: to Black Country on Saturday and Cardiff on Sunday.

New Forest were beaten by Dartford in women's Division Two despite a fighting third set after Dartford had opened the match looking invincible. Dartford remain in second place but they can still be overtaken by Richmond who could even go one better and win the division.

The top fixture on Sunday was Inter's clash with Salford in women's Division One and Inter were disappointed to have lost, especially in losing the fifth set after dominating the fourth, Salford being several places below them in the table. They remain in the top half of the division but just above Herts. and Birmingham who each have a game to play and who, unless their win is by less than two sets, will leapfrog them if victorious.

Richmond's men's Division Two side suffered a rare set back in their pursuit of the South title. Missing a couple of key players, the boys lost 3:0 to championship rivals Team Essex Estonians. However, the destination of the trophy is still in Richmond’s hands. Next weekend, wins against league leaders City of Bristol and New Forest will see Richmond lift the title. "Please come and support the boys at Kingston College next Saturday (16:30) and Sunday (12:30)," asks Andy Hopper.

Richmond women also had Essex as opponents in their Division Two match and retained a slight chance of the title with two games still to play against leader's, Oxford, one but should finish in second place. Ashcombe Dorking and New Forest next weekend, both at Kingston Arena, will decide matters, bottom of the table Southampton looking unlikely to upset top of the table Oxford.

So close has competition been, depending how results went in men's Division Three, Baks could have gone home from Dorking after their two games there either relegated or as high as fifth in the league table. The triangular proved to be as competitive as the season and, although Baks lost both their games, they won a sufficient number of sets to keep themselves out of last place which proved to be Wiltshire Mavericks fate although they beat the London side in five sets.

Results
Saturday
Men
Super League
IBB Polonia beat Durham Platinates, 3:0
Newcastle, Staffs lost to Richmond Docklands, 25:23 25:23 21:25 22:25 12:15
Division One
Sunderland beat London Aces, 3:0

Women
Super League
Orcas beat Durham Palatinates, 3:0
Division Two
New Forest lost to Dartford, 10:25 18:25 26:28

Sunday
Men
Division Two
Essex Estonians beat Richmond, 25:17 25:21 25:21
Division Three
Guildford beat Baks, 25:18 25:23 27:29 25:21
Wiltshire beat Baks, 21:25 25:20 20:25 25:21 15:11

Women
Division One
Inter lost to Salford, 18:25 25:21 17:25 25:11 15:17
Division Two
Essex Trinity lost to Richmond, 12:25 26:24 16:25 16:25

Brentford Fountains Leisure Centre, Caius House Youth Centre, Island Sports Trust

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

Additional material, Andy Hopper

From the side-lines

Richmond Docklands’ Magnificent Seven
After three five-set defeats in row Richmond Docklands finally won a final set in a battling performance against Newcastle Staffs. The squad of just seven players travelled to Keele University knowing that a win in under five sets would secure sixth place. So when Staffs stole the first two sets after Docklands had been in control, the visitors just had pride to play for.
Led by Black Knight winner Panos Karagiannis, Richmond set about turning around the match. But the third set did not start well with Staffs leading 16:10 at the second technical time-out. However, Richmond Docklands did not give up and after a probing run of serves by Julian Marcon, they battled themselves into a 16:17 lead. The momentum was all with Docklands and they kept on winning points to win 21:25. This was with Karagiannis effectively playing on one leg after he pulled his calf in set two.
Set four was a closely fought contest but Docklands just had enough at the business end of the set with middle blockers Dan Westphal and Vuk Kosanovic dominating their opposite numbers at the net.
After three five-set matches in a row you would have expected Richmond to know how to start a fifth set but they slumped to a 6:1 deficit. In most scenarios that would have been a winning margin in the short fifth set but Richmond had other ideas. They slowly clawed their way back with an ace by Josh Green taking his side 9:10 ahead. There was no stopping Richmond and they just wanted it more than their hosts. In the end it was left to Westphal to put away an over pass to seal a 12:15 win.
Black Knight: Panos Karagiannis
Docklands MVP: Noah Goalen
Staffs MVP: Szymon Kijewski

Meanwhile, on Sunday our NVL2 side suffered a rare set back in their pursuit of the Division 2 South title. Missing a couple of key players, the boys lost 3:0 to championship rivals Team Essex Estonians. However, the destination of the title is still in Richmond’s hands. Next weekend, wins against league leaders City of Bristol and New Forest will see Richmond lift the title. Please come and support the boys at Kingston College next Saturday (16:30) and Sunday (12:30).
Andy Hopper

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