Deacons, Chargers remain unbeaten
Knockout champions Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons and Chargers kept on course for double crown honours when they ended the first round of the Goddard Enterprises Limited Division One league with their unbeaten record intact on Wednesday night at the Wildey Gym.
Deacons and Chargers capped a night of pulsating volleyball, where 20 sets were contested between the eight top teams, as they repeated similar wins over the losing knockout finalists Brydens Rockets women and Coverley Medical Centre Deacons, respectively.
Deacons stopped Brydens Rockets 14-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-27, 15-6, to end 6-0 and holding a maximum 30 points. Current league queens Warrens Jaguars eased past Chargers, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-7.
The women’s top of the table battle ended in an unbelievable fashion with professional player Shari Matthews starting in the front court for Rockets but suffering remarkable net and court defence to score her one and only kill when her team was facing a massive loss, 12-2 in the deciding fifth set.
The outstanding serving by Fabia Greaves matched by tremendous all round play from Julia Lewis and counter-attack from middle player De-Ann Smith stunned the Rockets. Matthews’ meltdown had started in the fourth set when multiple attacking errors had slid her team from 24-21 to see Deacons deucing the set.
The rebranded Lewis, Greaves, Smith and had carried Deacons two set up with Rockets’ Katrina Wickham struggling to get the kill in the third set which Deacons capitalized on the take that set 25-23. Coach Paul Payne then decided to play Matthews opposite six footer Anicia Wood to avoid that duo being marooned in the backcourt at the same time.
Wood showed her versatility by scoring some crisp outside sets and putting her team in a position to even the battle before Matthews almost threw it away. Matthews did just that in the decider as after Deacons broke Wood’s opening serve they rushed to 10-0 as Matthews’ sole kill came when she rotated out of the front court 12-2.
The Rockets will enter round two 5-1 with 27 points, Warrens will be 4-2 with 21 and Chargers 3-3 holding 17.
Chargers’ men let slip a two-set advantage before getting over Coverley Medical Centre Deacons, 25-20, 25-14, 15-25, 12-25, 15-10. Cawmere found themselves two sets up but could not get home as Progressive took their contest, 22-25, 26-28, 25-21, 25-13, 15-7.
Former Barbados captain Elwyn Oxley and John Thompson came off of the bench to animate Deacons to get the game to the decider. However, a poor start in that set by Deacons and the irrepressible Mark Lewis ensured that Chargers remain unbeaten for 2013.
An ignited Rico Brathwaite silenced Cawmere and propelled Progressive into a challenging second spot.
Chargers have ended 5-0 with 25 points, Progressive have earned 22 points from a 4-1 record while Deacons have 19 points from a 3-2 record. Cawmere have ended round one with nine points from a 1-4 record to be fourth, one point behind the Juniors.