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Docklands slump against Bristol

PUBLISHED: 17:27 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:10 05 October 2010

LONDON Docklands Volleyball slumped to a three-set defeat at City of Bristol last weekend as their lack of match practice proved costly. Docklands were playing just their third league match of the year and the inactivity contributed to an error-strewn per

LONDON Docklands Volleyball slumped to a three-set defeat at City of Bristol last weekend as their lack of match practice proved costly.

Docklands were playing just their third league match of the year and the inactivity contributed to an error-strewn performance that gifted Bristol the win.

Docklands coach Ian Legrand was also missing several first-team players, with Efe Eruero out injured for the rest of the season, and was forced to give a debut to new signing Davide Grandolfo at libero.

Relegation-threatened Bristol had failed to beat Docklands in 11 previous meetings, but the home side started confidently and opened up a three-point lead following kills from Jiri Petrash and Matt Pierce.

Two consecutive errors allowed Bristol to stretch the advantage, and though blocks by Boris Halatchev and Alex Gaitan saw Docklands claw back to 22-19, two more errors handed Bristol the opening set.

Docklands began to show signs of the form that saw them crowned champions last year, and took a 7-2 lead in the second set following two blocks from Gaitan and aces by Danny Primus and Nathan French.

But a Petrash kill was the signal for Docklands to self-destruct and a cluster of errors allowed Bristol to cruise to a second 25-20 win.

Legrand shuffled his rotation at the start of the third set, introducing Enrico Savioa and Adam Phillips, but Docklands took time to adapt to the new formation and Bristol raced into an early 7-1 lead.

Dockland rallied to close the gap to 13-10 but the revival was short-lived. Tom Lord's kill and a service run took Bristol away again and they took the set 25-15 to seal a three-set win.

Docklands face crunch games against Cambridge and Newcastle this weekend and must win both to be sure of a top-half finish in National League Division One.

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