Volleyball: Staffs prove no match for dominant Docklands

London Docklands won't enjoy too many more satisfying wins than Saturday's one against Newcastle Staffs.


Docklands 3 Newcastle Staffs 1

London Docklands won't enjoy too many more satisfying wins than Saturday's one against Newcastle Staffs.

At Bacon's College, Docklands defeated the midlanders for the second time this season to leave themselves one win away from a third-placed finish in National One.

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Docklands were always in control of the first set as they took it 25-20 with some assured setting from Daniele Di Bella and confident hitting by the ever-reliable Mohammed Sliti.

But somehow the home team never quite took the game by the scruff of the neck like they should have and in set two found themselves 18-14 down.

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Staffs continued to hit back and eventually took the set 25-18.

Docklands were a little shell-shocked and with only two substitutes available for coach Ian Legrand, they had few options but to regroup.

With the game level in the middle of the third set, ever-green Boris Halatchev did exactly that, going on an emphatic run of five serves to take Docklands 19-14 up.

From there, the set was won as Docklands played it out to reverse the second set deficit, 25-18.

Staffs adjusted their personnel and varied their play but nothing seemed to go their way as Docklands took a commanding lead 11-7 in the fourth.

Staffs heads started to drop and Docklands ran out easy winners 25-19. In his post-match reaction, Docklands' coach Legrand summed it up well, with a satisfied smile he simply said: "Job done."

Elsewhere, the top two sides, Sheffield and Malory, contested the match that may have decided the destination of the title.

Sheffield had not lost at home since October 2006, but Malory came out on top 3-0 to put one hand on the trophy.

They now must safely negotiate Cambridge and Middlesbrough College before facing Docklands on the last day of the season.

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