Not too great Danes beaten by Dockers

London Docklands progressed to the National Shield semi-final on Saturday, after beating Danes Watford 3-1 at Bacon’s College.

Docklands started brightly with good play at the net by Platon Vogiatzoglou and Mark Baechli. Danes were struggling to get into the match and clinical blocking by Marc Schaepertoens and Tomas Wenzel gave the Danes attack nowhere to go.

A block by Schaepertoens on ex-England and Great Britain international Steve Fee closed out the set 25-13.

Coach Danny Primus changed half his team at the start of set two, but Docklands remained on top. Their block and defence were frustrating Danes and the set ended, like the first, with Fee blocked by Slyvain Renouard to make it 25-16.

Docklands were guilty of taking their foot off the gas in set three and Danes took full advantage. A strong service run by Jayson McAlpine took Danes away and Fee sealed the set 25-20 to put his team back in the match.

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Buoyed by their third set win, Danes took the game to Docklands.

But the home side weathered the storm early in the fourth set and were happy to lead 8-6 at the first technical time-out.

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A service run by Matthias Gilch extended their lead to 11-8, forcing Danes coach Paul Westhead to call a time-out.

Docklands continued to dominate and a sequence of blocks by Vogiatzoglou kept the score ticking over.

The end result was inevitable, although a block by veteran Scott Robson on Renouard postponed Docklands’ victory. The delay was short lived however, as Baechli finished off the set 25-18.

Primus said: “We were incredibly professional in the first two sets and produced some great volleyball. But we need to learn to maintain our level.

“The semi-final will be a challenge, but one I think we can overcome.”

Docklands travel to Tendring on Saturday, February 25 for the last four clash.

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