Reigning champions, IBB Polonia London began their defence of their Men’s Super League title on Saturday with a victory although, after the long journey to the North-east and facing their nearest challenger in 2020, they had to work hard especially in the second set.
Meanwhile, at home in Richmond, Docklands took on Leeds and had to survive a spirited fight back by the visitors before winning the third set and, with it, second place in the league table. Their next two fixtures will be against Durham on 21st November and IBB Polonia on 27th. Both are at home so the club will be looking for loads of support as they seek to stay near the top.
Richmond’s second team, Bucks, followed the sides onto court to meet fellow Londoners, Aces whose recent results in the Men’s Second Division have been disappointing. It proved a tremendous match with the home side looking secure at the end of the third set and coming within a whisker of victory in the fourth before Aces hit top form in the fifth to confound the form book
Earlier in the day a vociferous crowd cheered on two so far unbeaten London sides in the Women’s Super League. A point-winning spike from Malory’s libero, Anu Munkhkur will be the shot that is most talked about but there were many more in a high standard match in which the visitors proved rather too strong although, especially in the first set, Orcas always looked capable of springing a surprise having recovered from 15:23 to 20:23 then from 21:24 to 23:24 in the first set.
London Lionhearts were at home in the only other London fixture, taking on Bristol in the Women’s First Division. Neither side had lost in the league so far this season and the hosts never looked like the one to suffer that fate although their opponents challenged especially hard in an exciting second set.
Two matches of interest for Little Giants on Sunday, with their men’s taking on the side that finished above them in division three last year, both being promoted, and the women facing the experienced Sussex Dolphins, both matches at their home court at Caius House Youth Centre. After two very close sets, both of which they won, the men were able to raise their game against UK Armed Forces to earn their first win in the Men’s Second Division.
Following them onto court to face the established Women’s Second Division side, Sussex Dolphins, the players of the women’s team showed great character to earn their second win in two matches at this higher level after Sussex had won the second set to level the scores.
Saturday 30th October
Men’s Super League
Richmond Docklands beat Leeds, 25:19 25:18 26:24
Sunderland lost to IBB Polonia, 19:25 25:27 22:25
Men’s First Division
Richmond Bucks lost to London Aces, 25:13 18:25 25:12 28:30 9:15
Women’s Super League
Inter Orcas lost to Malory Eagles, 23:25 19:25 16:25
Women’s Division 1
Lionhearts beat Bristol, 25:15 25:22 25:14
Sunday 31st October
Men’s Division 2
London Giants beat UK Armed Forces, 25:20 26:24 25:13
Women’s Division 2
London Giants beat Sussex Dolphins, 25:22 21:25 25:19 25:21
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton