Docklands locked in relegation scrap
NATIONAL ONE Docklands 2 Newcastle Staffs 3 A STERLING comeback from London Docklands wasn t enough to prevent defeat in their clash with Newcastle Staffs at the weekend. After trailing 2-0, defeat looked like it would only be a matter of time, but Dockl
Newcastle Staffs 3
A STERLING comeback from London Docklands wasn't enough to prevent defeat in their clash with Newcastle Staffs at the weekend.
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After trailing 2-0, defeat looked like it would only be a matter of time, but Docklands started to play with more freedom.
With nothing to lose, Docklands started to play with more freedom and some good work at the net by Matt Butterworth and man of the match Alexis Blair put them 15-12 ahead.
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Back came the visitors though and got their first match points at 24-22, but Wayne Davies saved their first and then landed an ace before a smash was blazed wide and Docklands took the set.
Staffs' players were incensed at the line call at the end of the set and two of their players were given yellow cards, giving Docklands a 2-0 lead at the start of set four.
This advantage was immediately cancelled out, but Docklands were 12-6 ahead thanks to Butterworth.
Again, that lead was pegged back, a Mohammed Sliti block giving the hosts some breathing space.
Docklands maintained their lead with the help of blocks by Davies and Alex Gaitan and it was a kill by Davies that sealed the set, taking the match into the deciding encounter.
Docklands got off to a flyer with a Davies kill and a Boris Halatchev block. However, Staffs recovered well and went 7-4 up, before moving into a 10-6 lead.
Then came Docklands' comeback as Halatchev kicked it off and then two Staffs' errors in a row saw the home side back to within a point.
After a Staffs' time out, another hitting error appeared to have tied the scores, only for Davies to be adjudged to have touched the net band.
Cooper increased Docklands' dismay, but Halatchev and Blair stalled Staffs' march to 15 points.
The visitors earned two more set points, and although Halatchev saved one, the fightback was finally over.
Docklands: Davies, Schaepertoens, Halatchev, Hitchcock, Gaitan, M Sliti, Blair, Butterworth, Mills.
* There was better news for Docklands' assistant coach Danny Primus, whose ladies team Swiss Cottage achieved two 3-0 victories this weekend.