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Malory Eagles volleyball club

Sheffield vs Men's First
Saturday 6 March, All Saints, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

The Eagles avenged their home defeat to Sheffield in style with an emphatic 3-0 victory over last year’s league and cup champions.

In a must win match for their title hopes, Malory entered the All Saints sports hall as under-dogs having lost to Sheffield in their last five encounters since March 2008.  Although middle player Dan Westphal was back from injury, coach Jefferson Williams chose not to risk his recovering foot and stuck with Mark Brown and veteran Alex Bialokoz at middle block.  After a spirited warm-up from both teams, the tense game got underway with Sheffield’s GB international Matt Howe delivering fearsome attacks.  Malory’s middle and backcourt were to prove critical as Sheffield’s speed and power were contained by the determined London side.  An excellent run of float serves from Malory captain Richard Dobell helped Malory push ahead but the well trained Sheffield side were not about to roll over.  With the teams level at 18, coach Williams called a timeout to help his men maintain their composure.  Sheffield also used the time to recover and took a tiny lead.  Not to be beaten, the cunning Williams substituted Dobell for under-study Ashley Trodden, disrupting the Yorkshiremen enough to steal the next three points and the set 25-23.

For the second set, Malory and Sheffield stuck with their starting line up, Williams expecting his outside attackers Marc Richardson and Darius Setsoafia to start upping the pressure.  Malory set to work with business-like efficiency, excellent defensive work from Steve Fee complementing the now irrepressible power of Richardson.  Malory gained a lead quickly and pushed on with increasing confidence, unaffected by timeouts and substitutions called by Sheffield coach Keith Trenam.  Malory held their hosts under 20 to take the set 25 to 19.

Trenam switched play-makers for set three, opting for GB international Jim Miller in place of Anthony Hignett.  Malory ignored the change, suppressing Sheffield’s attack and pushing ahead with continued control.  Sheffield were unable to sustain their game, their attack blunted by Malory’s middle and unable to control Richardson. A run of six straight serves from Setsophia took Malory from 8-10 down to a lead of 14-10.  Further strong serving from Brown and Richardson allowed Malory to take the set by a comfortable 25 points to 16, sealing victory in just over an hour.

The Eagles remain top of division one, but now have a two point lead over Sheffield.  Third placed London Docklands along with strugglers Cambridge and mid-placed Middlesbrough now stand in the way of Malory taking the title this year.

South London Press - Download
London Volleyball Association - Link
Wandsworth Guardian - Link



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