Docklands ease to win over Boro

London Docklands consolidated their third position in the National Volleyball League with a professional performance against Division One newcomers Middlesbrough College

London Docklands consolidated their third position in the National Volleyball League with a professional performance against Division One newcomers Middlesbrough College.

It was an ace by Alessandro Galli (pictured right) that took Docklands 6-3 up in the first set as both sides edged their way into the game.

Middlesbrough recovered after some good hitting by Stephen Harrison, who was making his Division One debut, but two blocks by Docklands stalwart Boris Halatchev restored their advantage, forcing Goodchild to call his first time out.

Two aces from Daniele Di Bella underlined Docklands' dominance, but Middlesbrough were not giving up and when the first set looked to be going Docklands' way at 22-17 up, three quick Middlesbrough points planted the seeds of doubt in the Docklands camp.


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However, Docklands re-established their sideout game and two points from Riccardo Senatore secured the set 25-22.

Coach Legrand introduced Mohammed Sliti at the start of set two and he made an immediate impact, causing Middlesbrough's passing unit problems with his serve from the off.

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But some tenacious play by the visitors meant that Docklands could not pull away, and with the help of three consecutive points from Michael Grainger, Middlesbrough closed to within a point at 14-13 down.

However, points from Galli and Raf D�rr combined with a careless Middlesbrough error gave Docklands a cushion of four points and with Sliti a constant threat from all over the court, Docklands cantered to a 25-18 second set win with a Di Bella block on Grainger.

That would prove to be Di Bella's last play of the match with Andy Vincett replacing him at the start of the third set.

Vincett was quickly into his stride and connected well with all his hitters. He found Galli and Sliti early on in the set as Docklands took a 7-3 lead.

Service runs from D�rr and Sliti helped Docklands stretch their advantage at 20-10.

Legrand brought in Carlos Lara for his first taste of English volleyball, and in doing so surprisingly became the first Spanish player to play for Docklands.

Despite a short run of Docklands' errors, including a bizarre attack error by libero Matteo Cottignoli, the home side ran out comfortable winners 25-14.

Docklands are in cup action next week when they take on Polonia in the quarter-final.

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