London Docklands lose five-set thriller

PUBLISHED: 11:26 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:23 05 October 2010

Mohammed Stili

Mohammed Stili

Docklands head into the Christmas break on a down note after a loss to London Polonia. Both teams started nervously and set one was littered with errors on offense and from the service line

Docklands head into the Christmas break on a down note after a loss to London Polonia.

Both teams started nervously and set one was littered with errors on offense and from the service line.

It was Polonia though who found enough rhythm to put together two clusters of points which was enough to build a 19-15 which Docklands could not claw back.

In the second set the sides were never more than two points apart.

This was until two net errors in three points by the visitors, and an ace from Docklands man of the match Borris Halatchev, gave Docklands a 21-18 lead at the crucial point in the set.

Docklands tightened up though and allowed Polonia back forcing coach Ian Legrand to call his second time out at 23-22.

The crowd held its breath but they needn't have panicked - with a trademark angled smash through position four, Mohammed Sliti (pictured left) sealed the set for Docklands.

Having ended set two on a high they capitalised and surged to a 14-9 lead in set three off the back of serves from Di Bella, Halatchev and Sliti.

But Polonia are never beaten and they plugged away to level the score at 18 each.

Docklands weren't done and they fought back and went ahead at 24-22 with two set points.

But it wasn't to be and they were unable to close the set out losing it 26-24 to a jubilant Polonia.

From 18-13 up and cruising in the fifth set Docklands managed to throw the advantage away to find themselves 22-18 down.

And from there, despite a flurry of substitutions from coach Legrand, the Docklands resolve was broken and Polonia rode the crest of the wave through the end of the set and back to west London with the victory.


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