Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Durham’s days in London 

Durham’s days in London 

The matches were close but Durham victories on both Saturday and Sunday resulted in joy in the north-east and the title “Super” becoming even more accurate in England’s top men’s competition.

If you didn’t make Ernest Bevin on Saturday (11th December) to see Malory Eagles take on high flying Durham in the NVL in the Men’s Super League you missed a great match. The home side challenged for every point, shading the second set but, disappointingly for London supporters, falling just short in both sets three and four.

It was four sets for Aces too, playing away to Cambridge Anglia Ruskin University in the Men’s First Division but the score was reversed and, after winning a very tight third set, a 25:20 fourth set gave them victory. 

In the Men’s Second Division, Giants too enjoyed a four set away win, losing a very close second set and producing their best volleyball in tight third and fourth sets after winning the first rather comfortably.

In the Women’s Super League four teams seem to be moving away from the other five and when two of them met Inter Orcas rather blew cold and hot away to unbeaten Polonia SideOut. In five enthralling sets at Moberly Sports Centre, they then showed great character, tying the score at two all after losing the first two sets, the second in something of a rout. 

Unbeaten IBB Polonia were at home to Durham in the Men’s Super League on Sunday, a side expected to challenge for the title as they did so well in the last few seasons. In an eagerly awaited match the team from the north set the bar high and started the game very strongly and held total control of the first set. The second set was very even after the hosts found their rhythm and levelled the score. The third set was level throughout but it was Durham who sneaked the win taking it by a slender two point margin. The Londoners fought until the very end and came very close to taking the match into a deciding set but the visitors were the stronger and took the set and the match.

In a second match in the division played in the capital Richmond Docklands moved to the top of the table, albeit thanks to having played more games, after they beat Newcastle, Staffs. Docklands lost a close opening set by winning an even closer second and fourth.

For the spectators it seemed a bit like a warm up event but the Men’s First Division game was much more than that as Richmond Bucks motivated their senior squad by beating Weymouth Beach visitors in three sets, imposing themselves on the challenge by winning a thrilling opening set by the narrowest of margins and retaining their composure for two more sets..

The Men’s Third Division triangular fixture opened with a match the winner of which would go top of the table and sadly Dartford Crossers faded slightly after an enthralling first set which they narrowly lost to allow their hosts Norwich Spikers that honour. However Dartford made sure they remain second and in a position to challenge by beating England Cadets in three sets.

There was a titanic five set battle in the Women’s Super League when SideOut Polonia met Malory Eagles with one side and then the other winning a set and the hosts eventually prevailing to remain the only unbeaten side in the division.

Results

Saturday, 11th December

Men’s Super League

Malory Eagles lost to Durham, 22:25 25:23 21:25 21:25

 

Men’s First Division

Cambridge ARU lost to Aces, 25:18 19:25 25:27 25:20 11:15

 

Men’s Second Division

Guildford lost to Giants, 15:25 25:23 22:25 22:25

 

Women’s Super League

Polonia SideOut beat Inter Orcas, 25:23 25:10 20:25 15:25 15:8

 

Sunday 12th December

Men’s Super League

Richmond Docklands beat Newcastle, Staffs, 21:25 25:23 25:19 25:23

IBB Polonia lost to Durham, 16:25 25:22 23:25 20:25

 

Men’s First Division

Richmond Bucks beat Weymouth Beach, 26:24 25:18 25:18

 

Men’s Third Division

Norwich Spikers beat Dartford Crossers, 25:23 25:15 25:17

England Cadets lost Dartford Crossers, 18:25 17:25 13:25

 

Women’s Super League

Polonia SideOut beat Malory Eagles, 25:23 16:25 25:19 20:25 15:7

 

Contributor, Douglas Barr-Hamilton

Picture: sandsphotos.co.uk

Sources: IBB Polonia press release, Volleyball England website