Garvagh men's team headed up to the Shankhill Leisure Centre to play last year's National League champions PVC. Garvagh knew this would be a tough game but headed up in high spirits with two new signings, Andrew Wells and William McKnight, ready to make their debuts.
Garvagh started off well, passing the ball around and forcing PVC into mistakes in the back court. With some great serving from debutant Will, Garvagh got off to an early 9-5 lead. Polonia were having trouble in their serve receive and Garvagh were taking full advantage. With the Phoenix defence on great form Speedy was able to spread the ball about, allowing Garavgh to attack from all angles with mixed success. PVC were blocking and defending well but every now and then they showed Garvagh why they were last seasons champions with some ferocious hits. The set continued to go back and forth with Garvagh managing to keep their noses in front. At 22-21 to Garvagh, Polonia stepped it up a gear and crushed Garvagh's hopes of winning the first set. With some clinical hits PVC eventually took the set first 25-23.
Polonia Eagles 1-0 Garvagh Phoenix
Ecstatic with their performance in the first set Garvagh knew they had PVC rattled and got off to a flier again. Taking an early 4-1 lead, Garvagh's defence was frustrating PVC. Their back court passing hadn't improved but they were starting to get more success in attack with lots of their hits coming off the Garvagh blocks from all angles. Garvagh seemed to be winning the scramble game and combined with some big hits from Alan and Glen, Garvagh were staying neck and neck with Polonia for the majority of the set. Polonia had a couple of good periods on serve but late on they had a blip and Garvagh managed to fire in a few quick points to once again lead 22-21. A much need timeout from PVC did the trick, two big hits and a few Garvagh errors and the set had once again slipped through Garvagh's grasp. Losing 4 straight points PVC took the second set 25-22
Polonia Eagles 2-0 Garvagh Phoenix
Garvagh were still enjoying the game even though they were getting beat, they believed that with a little more composure a rusty PVC could be for the taking. Unfortunately late on in the second set Speedy had taken a spike to his thumb, badly injuring it and left him unable to continue. Andrew our newest recruit came in to off setter and Rodney made the switch to setter. Surprising this didn't disrupt Garvagh's flow and once again the set was extremely tight. Garvagh again took an early 10-7 lead. Alan was getting in some big hits with Will and Warren were making nice blocks. With Rodney not being a complete disaster at setter Garvagh were continuing their good form. The set turned on a rotation error for Garvagh which seemed to distract them for several points. PVC were taking advantage with some big jump serves and wiping the majority of their hits off the Garvagh block. One massive hit smacked Warren square in the face causing a bloody nose, forcing Garvagh into a timeout. PVC had opened up a 6 point gap and when Garvagh got back on track it was a little too late. Polonia managed to take the third and final set 25-18.
Polonia Eagles 3-0 Garvagh Phoenix
Good luck to Polonia for the rest of the season trying to retain their title. Thanks for hosting this evening. Game was played in great spirit and we really enjoying it.
Next up for Garvagh is a home match next Thursday against Aztec Warriors. 8pm for all those who wish to come and support.