Northern Ireland’s Senior Men defeated Ireland 3-1 in a friendly match at the Richhill recreation centre on Friday 4th June.
The match was arranged to help prepare Ireland ahead of their European Championship Qualification Tournament in Andorra from 17-19th June. It is the first time ever that competitive volleyball was played in the Richhill recreation centre which was opened in 2008.
NI saw the return of Great Britain international David Hamilton who played professional volleyball this year in Tenerife. It was with Hamilton’s help that NI’s offense was too much for Ireland and the home team got off to a great start with NI winning the first set 25-17.
The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first set with NI’s serve receive almost faultless as Ireland struggled to pass the NI serve. This difference allowed NI to utilise all of their hitting options and held Ireland to only hitting from the wings. NI comfortably won the second set 25-17.
In the third set Ireland took control and carried the momentum through to the end of the set winning 15-25. NI bounced back however in the fourth set and it was a close finish to the set for the large crowd who had turned out to support the team, NI winning the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.
The squads for both teams were: