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Malory Eagles volleyball club

Men's 1 home to Sheffield
Saturday 24 October, Ernest Bevin College, Tooting, London

Malory Eagles yielded their second place position after losing a hard fought battle with last year’s champions, Sheffield.  After a week of intense training at the team’s Ernest Bevin base, Malory were psyched up for the meeting with their fellow title contenders.

Coach Jefferson Williams started with experienced setter Richard Dobell, international Yassir Sliti at opposite attack, England juniors Marc Richardson & Darius Setsoafia at wing attack and Alex Bialokoz & Dankielson Westphal at middle attack.  Defensive specialist Steven Fee played as libero.  The set started slowly but Sheffield inched to a 5-point lead with powerful attacks from GB international Andrew Sinclair.  Malory managed to stabilise and clawed their way back into the set to stay in touch with Sheffield as the teams crept through the all important 20 point barrier.  Sheffield continued to stay ahead but struggled to impose the 2 point lead they needed.  Eventually, maintaining consistency, Sheffield took the first set; 27 to 25.

Having lost such a close first set, the Eagles were determined to get back into the game.  An excellent serving run from Bialokoz helped Malory hold their own, increasingly settling into their stride.  Play-maker Dobell imposed his will, repeatedly finding in-form Richardson who converted on demand.  Sheffield were not about to roll-over and stayed in contention but Malory just managed to grab the set; 25 - 23.

Williams started the third set with his favoured line-up, keen to consolidate the team’s current form.  Dobell probed Sheffield’s weaknesses supported by excellent passing from Setsoafia and punishing middle attacks from Westphal.  Under pressure, Sheffield took a well placed time-out and made an excellent substitution to strengthen their serve.  In spite of Malory being the first to 24, Sheffield hung on, saving several set points to stay in the set.  A loss of concentration in the Malory camp, gave Sheffield the lead which they coolly converted to win the set; 31 - 29.

The fourth set saw off-form Sliti replaced with new boy Luciano Pinter, back from a three week spell in his native Argentina.  Sheffield soon capitalised on a demoralised Malory side, consistently defending against all that the Eagles could throw at them.  In spite of William’s efforts to motivate his side, the Eagles relinquished the fourth set; 19 - 25.

Malory now slip to third in the table having won 5 of their 6 games.  On 16 points, they’re 3 behind leaders Sheffield and 1 behind second placed neighbours Docklands; both of whom have played an extra game.  London clubs continue to dominate Division One, holding three of the top four league positions.

South London Press - Download
London Volleyball Association - Link

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