Opponents: London Lynx 2 Competition: Division 1 Date: Sunday 7th October 2012 Venue: UEL Sportsdock, Beckton Result: W 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 20-25, 15-10) Headline: Docklands battle to second win
London Docklands secured their second win of the season but had to fight all the way against local rivals Lynx 2. Coach Andy Hopper commented afterwards, "It wasn't pretty but at this stage of the season we needed a win. When it mattered we did what we had to do and sometimes you just have to take the win and move on".
Docklands faced two former players in Miroslav Gospodinov and Richard Shittu, and in the first set both returned to haunt their former club, producing several winners against a relatively ineffectual Docklands' block. Docklands found themselves 20-14 down and although they made a mini-recovery could do nothing to stop a 25-22 Lynx win.
Docklands maintained some of their better form from the end of set one to race into a 4-0 lead in the second set. Shittu halted Docklands' run and then applied subtle service pressure to tie the set at 4-4. But his former team reacted confidently and good net play by Alessandro Galli and Platon Vogiatzoglou helped drag Docklands into a 22-16 lead.
They completed the second set win 25-19 and sprinted into a 6-2 lead after the change of ends. As the pressure increased from Docklands, errors started to creep into Lynx's play and a disciplined performance by the visitors saw them take the third set at a canter 25-12.
Most observers would have expected Docklands to close out the match but Lynx had other ideas and took the game to their opponents. Outside hitter David Amah started to gain significant success with Docklands unable to cope against his high jump and speed. It was Docklands' turn to start making unforced errors and Lynx grew in confidence when they repelled a mini fight-back by Docklands to lead 20-16. Lynx held on to take the match into a deciding fifth set.
The shootout to 15 started evenly with Docklands 6-5 up. But three quick-fire Lynx points on the back of Andy Bignold's serving saw the home side sneak into an 8-6 lead. After a Docklands time-out the extended break seemed to affect Bignold's concentration as he put his next serve wide. Then up stepped captain Mark Baechli to lead his side's charge to the line. Tough serving and clinical blocks by Tom Wenzel, Galli and Vogiatzoglou piled the pressure back onto Lynx. Two consecutive aces by Baechli and another block by Wenzel took the match away from Lynx as Docklands ran out winners 15-9.
away matches in a row, Docklands finally start their home campaign at
Bacon's College. They host Birmingham on Saturday 20th October, a team
who were relegated from the Super8s last year and are still searching
for their first win of this season.
Black Knight: Tom Wenzel
Docklands MVP: Alessandro Galli