Docklands make light work of rivals
London Docklands returned to National League action on Saturday with a crucial 3-1 victory over rivals Coventry and Warwick Riga
London Docklands returned to National League action on Saturday with a crucial 3-1 victory over rivals Coventry and Warwick Riga.
In the first set Riga made a great start as Piotr Rybarczyk was particularly affective in attack and it was his block on Wayne Davies that saw Riga go 8-3 up.
Mohammed Sliti's deft shot stopped the rot, but then Docklands had their first injury scare when Davies landed on another player and jolted his back.
However, a run of tough serves by Daniele Di Bella helped drag Docklands back into the set.
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His last serve produced another Riga overpass, but as Martin Blake contested for the ball with the Riga attacker he landed badly under the net and twisted his ankle.
So Alessandro Galli, making his Docklands debut, replaced Blake at 14-10 to Riga.
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Two Rybarczyk kills restored Riga's six-point cushion and despite some good work by Sliti and Raf D�rr, Riga closed out the set 25-21.
Docklands started the second set in a hurry, winning nine of the first 13 points after service pressure from Galli and Boris Halatchev helped Docklands dominate the net.
But a lapse by Docklands let Riga back in the set and a spectacular block by Dan Turnbull on D�rr saw the scores tied at 15-15.
Davies registered another kill to take Docklands 18-15 up.
Further points from Halatchev and Davies maintained Docklands' lead and as the score reached 24-20 it looked as though the scores would be tied at one set all.
But a service run by Turnbull put the pressure back on Docklands. An ace, alongside good blocking and tenacious defence pulled Riga back level and Tomasz Kwasniak's block on D�rr gave Riga an unexpected set point.
After repelling two Rybarczyk attacks Davies produced another powerful smash to clinch the set 27-25.
Docklands held a slender lead at 13-11 in the third set and then Galli produced a stunning block on Rybarczyk, forcing Young to take his first time out of the set.
Points by Blair and D�rr kept the pressure on Riga and service runs from Halatchev and Blair helped close out the set at a canter, Galli shutting out Craig Smith to win the set 25-15.
An early run of serves by Di Bella culminating in his third ace of the match saw Docklands shoot into a 9-3 lead at the start of the fourth set.
Three kills by Rybarczyk gave Riga some hope but three points in quick succession from Halatchev restored Docklands' advantage at 15-8. The set and match were finished off by an ace from Davies.