Ian full of praise for both players and fans

LONDON Docklands coach Ian Legrand praised his players spirit after they overcame a tenacious Newcastle Staffs side on Saturday. The visitors to Keele University won their fourth five-set match of the season, lifting them into second place, two points b

LONDON Docklands coach Ian Legrand praised his players' spirit after they overcame a tenacious Newcastle Staffs side on Saturday.

The visitors to Keele University won their fourth five-set match of the season, lifting them into second place, two points behind National Division One leaders Sheffield.

Legrand said: "We again showed some real spirit today and played some good stuff at times.

"We need to work on our consistency and learn how to kill off teams. This is never an easy place to come."


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The England coach also paid tribute to the supporters.

"The crowd really got into the match, but it's the sort of place you want to come and play, the atmosphere is great and every player should enjoy that sort of challenge," he said.

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Against a struggling, yet spirited Staffs side, Docklands won an error strewn first set 26-24 thanks to two consecutive points from Raf Durr.

In the second set Docklands were finding it hard to cope with Staffs' outside attackers and solid blocking.

Legrand introduced Mohammed Sliti for his first appearance since dislocating his finger, but in the end a kill by Dave Lovell secured a 25-15 second set winfor Staffs.

Daniele Di Bella and Martin Blake proved a formidable force at the net in the third set. The home side refused to take it lying down, but two blocks by Sliti sealed a 25-13 win.

At 12-8 up in the fourth set Docklands were on the verge of their first four-set victory. However, Staffs had other ideas and careless play from the visitors gifted the hosts the victory, taking the match into a fifth set.

Boris Halatchev and George Uzunov starred for the visitors in the deciding set and two hitting errors in a row made Docklands' life easy, presenting the away team a 15-11 win.

Docklands look to consolidate their position against eighth- placed City of Bristol on Saturday at Bacon's College.

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