Men's Weekend Review: Cup Heroes
9th October 2017
Men’s National Cup
There will be a non-NVL side in the last 16 of the National Cup as Wombourne Volleyball Club carried on their giant killing heroics.
Having beaten Coventry & Warwick Riga of the Division 2 North in the previous round, the West Midlands outfit stepped up even further in class to record a famous victory over neighbours Black Country Men 1 of Division 1.
Wombourne made their intentions for an upset clear by winning the opening set 25-22. Black Country, who won the shield competition last season, responded by hitting straight back to level it at one set all. If that caused any doubt in Wombourne minds about whether they could continue to match their higher-level opponents, it certainly didn’t show. The non-NVL side ground down their rivals and swept to victory in the next two sets to 18 and 19.
Their reward for a magnificent cup run is the challenge to step up to elite level. They face an away trip against Richmond Docklands, who cruised to victory over Manchester Marvels 2, in the last 16. They’ll be certain underdogs in the clash but Wombourne are clearly relishing that tag and if they can continue their inspired form, who knows what is possible?
There weren’t many other Davids in round two as the Goliaths stamped their authority on the competition. The only other upset in the Cup saw New Forest of Men’s Division 2 South knock out Southampton Volleyball Club Men’s 1 of Division 1. The Forest men have made an impressive start to the season in the league and took that confidence into the cup. After sharing the first two sets, Forest had a little too much for Southampton, who themselves have won their opening league game, and won the last two sets to 19 and 22.
New Forest have earned themselves a shot at knocking the English Champions from their perch as they travel to IBB Polonia in the next round. Polonia, who beat non-NVL side Sussex United, showed their sportsmanship by congratulating New Forest on their victory on Twitter and saying they are looking forward to hosting them in round 3.
All the Super 8s teams made safe passage through to the last 16 without even dropping a set. Malory Eagles won a clash from the capital by beating London Lynx 2, while the Lynx first team of the Super 8s defeated Manchester Marvels 1.
Team Essex Blaze thrashed London Baks, while Sheffield Hallam registered a comfortable victory over Polska Przychodnia. Team BU Wessex fought off the plucky Melton Lions, who showed a spirited performed to lose to 19, 12 and 23. Team Northumbria won a local encounter versus Blyth and will face Sheffield 2 of Division one in the next round after they defeated Miners Doncaster.
Newcastle Staffs and Team Durham are the other Division 1 teams to have made it through. Durham fought off Hull Thunder, while Staffs produced a solid performance to beat Loughborough Students.
Darkstar Derbyshire of Men’s Division 2 North had what looked a very tricky tie against UK Armed Forces. The Forces men were ‘Team of the Week’ in the previous round after beating division one opposition. Darkstar of the second tier were in no mood to allow an upset though and won a tightly fought contest 3-1. Each set was won to at least 20 points.
With two games still to come in this round, the cup is hotting up. The question is whether after Round 2 will it be an all Super 8s quarter final, or can any of the sides outside of the elite grab their moment with both hands? Does the cup still have some upsets left in it?
For many of the losing sides this weekend, they will fancy their chances at going for glory in the shield.
With most teams in cup action, there was only two league matches played this weekend. Team Essex Estonians went top of the Men’s Division Two South with a straight sets win over London Baks. While in the northern section of the second tier, University of Nottingham downed Norwich Spikers 3-1 to get their first league victory.
Team of the week: Wombourne Volleyball Club – who else could it have been!