Other 2011/12 reports

Opponents: Tendring
Competition: Division 1
Date: Saturday 22nd October 2011
Venue: Bacon's College
Result: W 3-2 (25-12, 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 15-9)
Docklands deny Tendring comeback
Author: Danny Primus



London Docklands continued their good run of victories but were made to work by Tendring for their third league win of the season. Docklands started the match with an identical record to Tendring - won two and lost one - and with two Docklands old boys in their squad (Alex Porter and Neil Masters) the visitors were certainly up for the match, hoping to repeat their cup quarter final victory of last season. Only three of Docklands' 2011-12 squad were involved last February but revenge was still on the agenda for the east London side.

The match couldn't have started better for Docklands with service pressure and aggressive net play helping them take a quick two set lead. The first set saw all of Docklands' attackers get in on the action as setter Marc Schaepertoens controlled his offence with maturity. The visitors could not handle the variety of Docklands' attack and relinquished the first set 25-12. Docklands maintained their momentum into set two and led 12-8 when Tendring coach Masters took his second time out. Tendring made a mini comeback but Docklands recovered to take the set 25-22 with a kill by Malte Rieger.

At the start of the third set Docklands showed no signs of taking their foot off the gas and again led 12-10 when Masters took a time out. Tendring were not giving up and driven on by new setter Seb Widlarz they clawed their way back into the match. The scores reached 20-20 and the home supporters were expecting Docklands to power onto a three set win. However, Porter had other ideas and delivered a short series of serves to take his team to set point at 24-20. Docklands saved two of them but a smash by Ben Wilson off the block saw Tendring take the third set 25-22.

Docklands coach Danny Primus implored his side to lift their game again while Porter and Wilson continued to power their way through and past the Docklands' block. The pressure was beginning to tell on Docklands as three errors in a row gifted the visitors a four-point lead at 16-12. Docklands continued to fight but the lead was too large to overcome and Tendring took the match into a fifth set with a 25-19 win.

Docklands had a dream start to the shoot-out fifth set with a run of serves by Schaepertoens turning the tables on Porter and his team. Docklands were 4-0 in a blink of an eye. The momentum was now all with Docklands and they didn't let go of it this time with blocks by Alessandro Galli and Mark Baechli not allowing Tendring back into the set. Docklands led 8-3 at the change of ends and two quick-fire aces from Rieger took the match further away from Tendring. In the end Docklands took the set 15-9 to secure their third league win of the season.

Primus said afterwards, "We started really well but again we need to learn how to put teams away and finish off matches. Still, this was a very important win and sets us up nicely for the next phase of the season."

Docklands next face another match in east London against Knights on Sunday 30th October at Bethnal Green.

Black Knight: Malte Rieger

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