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Still a ray of hope

Kenmore Bynoe

Still a ray of hope

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While Brydens Rockets and Coverley Medical Centre Deacons may have reenacted their knockout losses at the end of last week’s first round of the Goddard Enterprises Limited division one league, losing in five sets, they maintained hope of preventing their conquerors, Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons and Chargers respectively from claiming double crowns in 2013.
The script will demand that the Rockets and Deacons men do not lose any other games and then make a final surge at the title by stopping Deacons’ women and Chargers’ men in less than five sets.  Unfortunately, Deacons’ men will also need some help as they have lost twice in the first round, going down to nemesis Progressive and then Chargers.
Even so, the big question will be, Do the Rockets and Deacons men have the artillery or defence to defeat the likely double crown monarchs?
The knockouts and the first round of the league have literally separated the sheep from the goats where unlike seasons past, the cup contenders and those challenging cannot count on any help or upsets by the lesser rated teams.  Last season the losing queens Chargers had upset Rockets in the finals league game to deny the latter their first double crown.
This year Chargers have looked weak where they will rule over RBC Carlton, Toners and Club United who will play little or no part in deciding the new volleyball queens for 2013. Thus, Deacons, the Rockets and Warrens remain the trio whose encounters with each other will tip the battle one way or the other.
Rock bottom Foundation United, the equally inconsistent Juniors and Cawmere are also unrealistic hopes to trip the big three, Chargers, Deacons and Progressive. While Mark Lewis literally is head and shoulders above all other volleyballers in Barbados, Deacons and Progressive must find a way to reduce, if not stop, Lewis’ ability to score every set he receives from Barbados captain Alain London.
While Akeem Payne has shown that for Progressive he can match Lewis in attack, the support for Payne is not as consistent as that for Lewis. Reneir Grace returning from injury would be key for Progressive to repeat their first round win over Deacons as well as to score any upset over Chargers.
Deacons’ young guns have been battling inconsistency with the most successful club needing to decide what to do with former Caribbean MVP Elwyn Oxley. When Oxley decides to suit up Deacons have looked a completely different unit but the management is overly optimistic that Oxley can remain on the bench as a coach and Deacons can return to glory days from 2013.
With captain Jamal Nedd over-celebrating a kill every 12 points and talented all-rounder Kyle Brown trying to score balls off of non-existent blocks, Deacons have relied heavily on the attack of Sheldon Roach and piece-meal contributions from less experienced players. 
Thus, the Oxley factor and a returning Grace could be crucial aps for Deacons and Progressive to stop the unbeaten Chargers as they romp to their first double crown glory.