In their final game before the Christmas break, Richhill Raiders travelled to Ballymoney to take on last year’s Northern Ireland league winners. This game would decide who would be sitting top of the NI league through the festive season. Raiders came into the game hoping for a good team performance, after a unexpected defeat away to Ulster Elks. Ballymoney were also coming into the game fighting, looking to continue their long unbeaten run.
The first set was a tight affair. Ballymoney had a 2 point advantage for the majority of the set, but with both teams not playing at the best, Raiders opposite Lundy found a rhythm and was able to string some points together. The set was tight to the end, as Raiders scraped through the set with a rusty performance to win 23-25.
In the second set, the Raiders expected a big response from the Blaze team, and were prepared for this. However, Blaze struggled to get out of the starting blocks, and found themselves 6 points behind mid way through the set. Good blocking from Raiders allowed them to storm further into the lead, eventually ending the set 11-25 to the good.
Raiders wanted to finish the game off with a good set, and produced some great plays, catching out the Ballymoney opposition. Jeff Scott made a tactical serving change from his normal jump serve to a float serve, which put the Raiders passing unit under some stress. The Raiders player coaches Fulton and Hazley linked well together to produce some unstoppable attacks. With an unforced error from Blaze, Raiders took the 3rd set 14-25 and the match 0-3.
Raiders man of the match was Lee Taylor (aka LEEEEEEEE) who playing out of position did a great job in the middle.
Coach Hazley said after the game “the team did a great job of bouncing back from defeat from 2 weeks ago”.
Captain Fulton added “I hope for a similar if not better performance from the team against Lisburn Lynx to put a good finish to the first half of the season”.
Richhill Raiders would like to thank their sponsors “The Normandy Inn” “DB2” and Pattersons cars for their continued support.