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NVL Super 8 : Orcas' stunning start; Docklands win in Sunderland
Posted by Media Team on 2019/10/1 11:00:00 (48 reads)

Second weekend results (men's and women's National League)
Richmond success in South Wales
Only one London side is likely to be unhappy with its performance on the second week-end of national league competition. Orcas had a great win, Richmond Docklands took a set off Durham and beat Sunderland, Richmond men and women had excellent away wins and Lionhearts thrashed Sussex Dophins; Dartford underperformed in the first set of their home game then did not quite get back into the match against Leeds.

Richmond Docklands will have been pleased at the way their squad handled the powerful Durham opposition as they opened the Super League season, taking the second set of a match that was well contested throughout although from early in the fourth set it looked as though the home side were the more likely winner. However, the performance stood them in good stead after travelling to Sunderland for Sunday's game of their North-East weekend tour. After a battling success in the opening set, they had too much in reserve for Sunderland to get back into contention.

Match of the day was probably the other Super League game, the women's contest between Inter Orcas, playing at home and the mighty Durham, runner-up last season to Orcas' third place. Durham played disappointingly in the first set but after their superb recovery to take the second set narrowly, the game was a thriller to the end. 25:23 31:29; what a way to finish!

The five set first division game won by Richmond men in Bristol must have been on a par for excitement. A set apiece won by just two points, the other three all won by just three: it could scarcely have been closer. These teams were respectively third and fourth last season so it looks as though they will be on similar terms this time. But there is still a very long way to go.

Richmond's women also travelled west but to the other side of the Severn estuary to play South Wales in division one. The hosts gradually settled into the game but, Richmond having made so strong a start, were clearly determined not to come away without victory although there was some nail biting on the bench during the third set which eventually went to the visitors 24:26.

In the same division next day there was disappointment for Dartford. Their visitors, Leeds had been promoted in second position from division two (north) so were likely to be a test for the side promoted as third in the South section, but the south-east London side looked outclassed in the opening set. They challenged hard in the second set playing well in the third too but will not be satisfied that they failed to win a set.

It was an away fixture for Lionhearts too and they enjoyed an easy win away to Sussex Dolphins in women's division two. The home side failed to reach double figures in the first two sets and, although they recorded twenty in the third, Lionhearts were by then experimenting with different moves and a different line-up. Promoted undefeated in Division three last season, they will be delighted to have made a good start against a side that finished in the lower half of mid table in this higher division in 2018/19.

Results
Saturday
Men
Super League
Durham beat Richmond Docklands, 25:20 25:27 25:16 25:17
Division 2
Bristol lost to Richmond, 25:23 22:25 27:25 25:23 31:29

Women
Super League
Inter Orcas beat Durham, 25:11 23:25 27:25 27:29 31:29
Division 1
South Wales lost to Richmond, 10:25 22:25 19:25

Sunday
Men
Super League
Sunderland lost to Richmond Docklands, 21:25 14:25 17:25

Women
Division 1
Dartford lost to Leeds, 10:25 22:25 19:25
Division 2
Sussex Dolphins lost to Lionhearts, 9:25 8:25 20:25

Beths Grammar School, Caius House Youth Centre, 28/29th September. 2019.

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

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