Killie II v Su II

Saturday 26th January 2013

Kilmarnock II  V  Su Ragazzi II

One game at a time…..

The last Saturday in January saw the Su II boys heading South for a repeat of last week’s fixture against Killie II.  Last week the game was in the Schelde Sports National League, this week it was in the National Plate competition, with the prize for the winners being a place in the quarter finals.  We arrived early, we had a chat about the match, we warmed up thoroughly, and the first set was effectively over after our second server.

Fraser Johnson missed both of his serves in last week’s match.  He knew this was not acceptable.  This week he ripped the Killie passing unit to shreds with some carefully targeted ‘bombs’.  When Fraser went to the baseline the score was one all.  When he finished his run of serves the score was 10 – 1 for us.  Fraser’s serves prised open the structures of the Killie passing unit, denied them any real control, and set us up to defend the floor like crazy.  Having been established, Fraser’s lead was never surrendered, and we won the set 25 – 8.

Set two started the same way.  Fraser went to the base line and established a 6 – 1 lead for us, but then the Killie Boys rallied.  They solved some of their passing unit problems, they served much better, they defended their court space with real conviction, and the game became a contest.

Marc McLaughlin was linking well with Chris de Lattre, which was just as well, because our outside spikers were having a tough time.  The passing unit was working well, but the timing link to the offence was stretched, leading to several hitting errors.  We found ourselves 16 – 19 down, and didn’t panic.  We established parity at 20 – 20 and kept our nerve.  A series of tough serves from Marc, backed up by some solid work in defence from Conor Walker, lead to some key transition hits from Jordan Scott and Gordie McGilivrey, and the set was captured 25 – 20.

Set three Scott Mackenzie took over the setting slot, and Colin Sangster replaced Fraser Johnson.  The changes didn’t make any difference to the pattern of play.  Colin started in the serving box and delivered enough to see us establish a 6 – 0 lead, and we never looked back.  Libero Stuart Mackenzie and swing hitter Jordan Scott passed everything that the Kilmarnock Team threw at them, and kept our first tempo in the game.  That was decisive.  The set was won 25 – 10, and we advanced into the next round.

From a young team this was an excellent performance.  The pattern of play was set early, and we maintained excellent levels of concentration throughout.  The game was played in the best of spirits between the two teams, and well officiated by Euan Duncan and Mark Lawson.  Roll on the draw for the next round of the Plate, and let’s hope for a home tie!