Waltham Forest beat Lionhearts 2 (Men’s D2 Blue - London Volleyball League)
20:25 25:9 25:11 25:16
Seconds collapse after fierce opening
Successive victories had raised Waltham Forest morale in recent days but Lionhearts 2 were still the team to beat and for most of the 24 minutes that the first set lasted, the visitors were in control.
Behind a couple of good serving spells, Whipps began the better but Lionhearts slowly made inroads into the lead and were on terms again at 12-all, having been 6:1 down. They got to 16:18 and began to fire on all cylinders with skipper Ammon Hammett-Bregger and Szymon Sokolowski impressing at the net. A great start for Lionhearts. A tight start to the second continued to 7:5 when, rather against the run of play, Forest seized the initiative, pushed on to 11:5 then 17:9 and took control. Having recovered service following a time out at 15:8, Lionhearts asked for another at 9:23 but, Mekel Homer had his serving in a groove and the front line of Emre Baran, Pawel Kuba and Jakub Jurak were combining well. The match was soon square.
Lionhearts played poorly in the third; only twice did they win a point on service as Forest began to play without fear. At 20:9, Nicolas Proton asked for a time out but Forest continued in the same vein, outscoring their opposition by five points to two. In his talk before the next set, Nicolas raised Lionhearts heads and they began very well and, with Forest ablaze, the first half of the fourth was enthralling with nothing between the sides. Eventually, it reached 12-all. A point apiece then Lionhearts lose service. There seemed nothing to worry about but the sight of Mekel rotating to position one, created a loss of confidence. When he had finished serving it was 21:14 and there was no way back. Seven more rallies and Forest were the victors.
Leyton College Sports Centre : Leyton, 12th April
Starting six: Emre Baran, Mekel Homer (captain), Jakub Jurak, Joe Nansen, Arnold Nyambara, Lance Symister,
Other players: Francis Duncan, Peter Flores, Pawel Kuba, Stephen McMahon.
Coach: Tanwir Arshad.
Starting six: Alexandre d'Herbomez, Ammon Hammett-Bregger (captain), Kuldeep Singh, Szymon Sokolowski, Louis Tabary, Daniele Veronesi.
Other players: Julien Gorintin, Antoine Jarrosson, Clement Weber.
Coach: Nicolas Proton.
Referee: Claudiu Florea.