A great start to the Northern Ireland Volleyball Beach Tour! Hosted by North Down Volleyball Club in Bangor, Ballyholme Beach. The day started with wind picking up, some worrying signs of bad weather, although the day turned into glorious sunshine and rare blasts of wind, with many trying to take shelter, not from rain but from the sun.
With 17 teams battling the blazing sun, the day ran smoothly. 9 Mens and 8 Womens pairs fought for the top points. The group stages saw some great battles with Top Seeds Jonathan Workman And Alan McKnight taking on a pool of 5. In the women bracket saw NI Indoor League players such as Christina Verdirame, Stefania Bianchini, Joanna Wiezowska and Sylvia Kaska Kowalcyk battle each other in Pool A. Each match was up to 21 points until after the pool stages.
Later that day we had the U18s Girls Final with Milenka Rygieska & Sarah Scott duelling with the Simmons sisters Alex & Jodie. The winners in the end Milenka & Sarah in a best of 3 sets contest. Spurring the pair on, they finished runners-up to Czu Czu and Giedre Guobyte in the Plate Final.
The Women's Cup saw, Republic of Ireland pair Miriam Gormally and Roisin Roantree fight twice trough the elimination stages with Dominka Kozakova & Indre Simkute unfortunately for them not getting the better of them.
North Down pair Vicki Larkin & Monika Pyza made it into the cup with great wins in the pool stages! A Successful women's tour starter.
In the mens saw Bangor Sharks pairing Tom Napier & Allan Moore fight their way through Pool B to make it to the Cup stage. With tough opposition in the Cup the pair kept the sets tight throughout. The plate included 5 teams and Louie Almario and John Hanlon battled with fellow Bangor Sharks player Adam Barry & Francesco Lerario. Strong Performance from the Father and Son beach pair Gerry Ford & Jay Ford, entered for the first time, rewarded with a plate final against recent resurrection of Test Eagles duo William Robb & Connor Doherty. The later taking the spoils.
The Men's Cup Final produced an epic display of the top seeds which played out with Jeff Scott & Peter Stewart losing the first set although previously beat their opponents 2-0. Bringing it back they levelled with one set left it was all to play for. The victors Alan McKnight & Jonathan Workman.
No Wind, More Sun, More Heat.
We weren't in Spain, we where still at 'holme'. With only 5 teams entered we still produced a fantastic display for the spectators of 2017s Beach Tour Mixed Event. With one show court net and another for passers by to try their hand at some volleyball! Long Rallies and high intensity duels, saw runner up pairs from the previous days competition, Roisin Roantree and Peter Stewart, do one better in a 3 set thriller against Stefania Bianchini & Gonzalo Bidart.
Thanks to everyone who could make it! Hopefully the next one will be just as bright and sunny.
A Great Weekend was had by all, enjoying the sunshine.
We would like to thank all that participated and see you at the next one!