IBB Polonia London continued the defence of their Men’s Super League title with two hard-fought victories over the weekend. Saturday’s game will be remembered for its 32:30 third set which put Malory into the lead in a match between teams of contrasting styles. However, they struggled in the following set trying to force the pace but remained in the match until Polonia seized a two point lead in the fifth set at 12:14, a surprise second ball attack merely postponing their fate.
London Aces won for the second successive week in the Men’s Second Division with another tremendous match in which they overcame the in-form Weymouth Beach Club in four sets to establish a four-way tie for fifth place in the league table. After a disappointing start to the season, hopes are rising especially as three of them have a game in hand over third placed Stockport suggesting a very competitive season to follow.
The other Polonia club followed their namesake onto court at Tooting Bec to challenge Malory Eagles in the Women’s Super League. Although it lasted only three sets, it too was close and exciting with Malory within a whisker of forcing another set only to go down 25:17, raising the visitors’ hopes as Durham are the only other side in the division without a loss.
Over in Camden Town Inter Crocs played very well to achieve their first win in their fourth game of the season against a side that had already won twice in four fixtures. After Cambridge Anglia Ruskin University got back into the match in a tight third set they showed great character when taking the fourth. Crocs will want to reverse their recent five set defeat when they visit the University of Nottingham in January.
Their position next to bottom of the Men’s Super League table when Tendring welcomed IBB Polonia on Sunday suggested a one-sided match but they gave an excellent account of themselves in a contest of high quality. They remain next to last and Polonia move towards the top of the table but the quality of the volleyball witnessed suggests a competitive continuation of the season.
On Sunday, London Giants travelled to Southampton playing its first game of the season in the Women’s Second Division match and began well, winning the opening set and, in a fluctuating contest, forced a fifth set before going down 15:10
Several London sides were in action in the Men’s Third Division. Baks played nine sets in triangular fixtures losing 14:16 in the fifth set to Norwich Spikers then narrowly winning the fourth set after Cambridge had recovered from losing the first two. Meanwhile, the other Cambridge side, Rhinos, were beating Dartford Crossers in four sets.
In Kingston, Richmond’s second team were in action for the first time this season in the Women’s Third Division and disappointingly lost two very close sets before fading rather against visiting Norwich Spikers.
Saturday 6th November
Men’s Super League
Malory Eagles lost to IBB Polonia, 23:25 25:21 32:30 18:25 13:15
Men’s First Division
London Aces beat Weymouth Beach, 25:18 25:16 14:25 25:22
Women’s Super League
Malory Eagles lost to Polonia Sideout, 22:25 17:25 25:27
Inter Crocs beat Dambridge ARU, 25:21 25:17 22:25 25:22
Sunday 31st October
Men’s Super League
IBB Polonia beat Tendring, 25:21 25:23 25:20
Men’s Division 3
Baks lost to Norwich Spikers, 9:25 25:19 25:19 19:25 14:16
Baks beat Cambridge, 25:14 25:21 18:25 25:22
Cambridge Rhinos beat Dartford Crossers 25:14 25:21 18:25 25:22
Women’s Division 2
Southampton beat London Giants, 18:25 25:14 25:18 19:25 15:10
Women’s Division 3
Richmond 2 lost to Norwich Spikers, 23:25 22:25 17:25
Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton
Picture: Polonia foils Malory attack
Source: Volleyball England web site