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Latest News - London Teams
NVL Super 8 : IBB Polonia cement top spot
Posted by Media Team on 2019/11/25 10:10:00 (53 reads)

London teams' latest results (National Volleyball League)
Nine matches: eight victories
It has been a relatively quiet week-end for London's national league teams and, for the second week running, only a third of the clubs had been allotted a home league fixture. Regular spectators are waiting for the ratio to change. It will even out as the season progresses and, with more success this weekend, fans will be rushing to cheer on their stars during December.

However, three of the five premier league matches featured a London side at home, Malory Eagles with its men and women's team playing at home in Tooting on Saturday and Polonia SideOut women in Ealing on Sunday, having beaten Nottingham University away the day before.

An 11.30 a.m. start for the men's Super League match on Saturday 23rd November between Malory Eagles and Essex Blaze meant an early newsflash, especially as the hosts disposed of the visitors quickly in three sets. Although it was not particularly one-sided and Essex performed a little better as the match progressed, Malory were not unduly troubled as they ensured they stayed in contact with leaders IBB Polonia London. Essex had taken a set off the leaders last weekend so Malory were delighted at success in three.

Like SideOut, IBB Polonia had an away fixture in Staffordshire. Facing Newcastle they needed no time to recover from the journey as they won in straight sets, nineteen points in the second being the Potters' highest set score. The win means Polonia remain unbeaten in this tier of the National League.

Already, there was no unbeaten side in the women's Super League, Malory Eagles who have won two of the four matches played so far entertained Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University who have lost all its five games so the hosts were surprised when the visitors won the opening set. The margin was only four points but the squad recognised that their performance had been below par and they raised their game to play extraordinarily well for the rest of the afternoon.

University of Nottingham who have won three of the five matches played this season were at home to Polonia SideOut, victors twice in three outings. A close match had been anticipated. A close match it was; after taking the first set comfortably, there were no more than two points between the sides in the four that followed with Polonia taking the fifth 13:15 to keep alive their hopes of being in the top five at Christmas.

In men's Division One unbeaten City of Bristol were going to be tough opposition for London's Aces and were shocked when the Londoners took the opening set. The shock turned to concern when Aces won a highly contested second set too but there was a remarkable turnaround in the third when Aces' superiority deserted them and Bristol took it easily only to find the London side had regrouped and re-motivated while changing ends to seize the honours by the end of the fourth. Having played more games than any other side in the division they are not likely to stay there but, for the moment, look good in second place in the table.

There was no men's Super League match involving London sides on Sunday but Essex losing to Sheffield Hallam and Sunderland to Durham means we now know four of the five teams that will contest the final stages of the competition after Christmas. They will be two of the three London clubs, IBB Polonia and Malory Eagles plus Durham Palatinates and Sheffield Hallam with Richmond Docklands in a strong position for the fifth place.

The women's Super League is much closer than the men's and the day's results determine only Bristol and Cambridge's lowly spot and Durham's safety.

After beating Tendring on Saturday Wessex could have joined them when they visited Ealing to play Polonia SideOut. They would have occupied joint top spot as well. However, the leading London ladies' team played superbly, clearly benefitting from their recent European competition and, although having to work hard in the second set which they lost to twenty points, looked in control for the rest of the match. Top five in mid December? It now looks likely but we could end this stage of the competition with the two other London teams playing for a single place. Malory and Inter Orcas will need loads of support. Orcas will be at home to Cambridge on 30th November and away to SideOut on 7th December while Malory will be away to Wessex on 7th December and to Bristol on 15th . However, the key clash will take place in Tooting on 14th December when Orcas will enter the Eagles' den.

After winning the first set of their match against women's Division One leaders, the unbeaten Oxford, Dartford became the only London team in the National League to lose over the week-end as they suffered a dreadful second set and then, despite a tremendous fight back and very close scores lost the third and fourth sets as well.

Sussex were bottom of women's Division Three at the start of the day and they lost to a Giants side unbeaten in the league so far. Giants put in a resolute performance to prepare comfortably for their other match in the triangular tournament against South Hampshire. Giants won, again in three sets although their opponents gave them a little to worry about in the first.

Results
Saturday 23rd November
Men's Super League
Malory Eagles beat Essex Blaze, 25:18 25:20 25:21
Newcastle, Staffs. lost to IBB Polonia, 15:25 19:25 16:25

Women's Super League
Malory Eagles beat Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University, 21:25 25:14 25:15 25:21
University of Nottingham lost to Polonia SideOut, 16:25 24:26 25:23 26:24 13:15

Men's Division One
City of Bristol lost to Aces, 16:25 23:25 25:13 21:25

Sunday, 24th November
Women's Super League
Polonia SideOut beat Wessex, 25:18 20:25 25:16 25:13

Women's Division One
Oxford beat Dartford, 22:25 25:14 26:24 27:25

Women's Division Three
Sussex lost to Giants, 11:25 10:25 16:25
South Hampshire lost to Giants, 21:25 15:25 17:25

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

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