Saturday April 1st

“Celebrate good times come on!”

Congratulations to the City of Glasgow Ragazzi boys who clinched the Scottish Premier League Championship with a 3 – 0 win in Aberdeen.  Following on from last week’s resounding win against close rivals City of Edinburgh the Glasgow boys were simply unstoppable.

With Stewart Caldwell again filling the Off-Setter slot, in the absence of Team Captain Ali Galloway, the Boys from the West simply would not be beaten, winning the 3 points that secured the championship with an emphatic 25-18, 25-20, 25-16 score.

Next week is the Gala Event for Scottish Volleyball, the Cup Finals weekend!  The City Boys will be working their socks off to secure their first Cup win for several years.  Bon Accord will again provide the opposition, and the match promises to be a ding-dong affair, but with the Championship already in the bag the confidence in the Ragazzi Camp will be sky high!

So, once again, congratulations to Ali and his team for a fantastic win.

Su II in the nail biting play-offs.
While the first team were heading North to Aberdeen, the SU II Boys were making the short trip to Lenzie High School.  Earlier in the season the home side had put a large wrinkle in the title aspirations of the Glasgow side by beating them 3 sets to zero.  Following last week’s 1-3 loss to title rivals NUVOC it can be understood why the prospect of playing Lenzie created a measure of tension amongst the players.  What followed was a game of huge tensions, great volleyball, and some heroic performances.

The first set saw the Su boys dominate in every department.  We served with purpose, we defended like demons, and we controlled the net to storm into a one set to zero lead with a 25-16 score line.

We knew that Lenzie would respond to the challenge, we knew they would not lie down, but we didn’t know that veteran setter, and ex-Su Ragazzi player Kevin Curran, would produce his best performance for years.  Lenzie’s Coach Dave McEwan said his team’s performance in the second and third sets were the best volleyball they had played all season.  Everything they tried worked.  They completely dominated every aspect of the game, and while the actual scores were reasonably close, the story of the set was of Lenzie’s successes!  The set scores were 25-22, and 25-20.

It was nail biting stuff!  We knew our dreams of winning the championship were coming down to this next set, and depended on our ability to control the ball better, and score points at the net.  Step up Charlie McFarlane!  Charlie spend the first three sets standing in the Bull-pen waiting for his chance to shine.  It came, and Charlie dazzled, bringing both game points, and enthusiasm, and a bucketful of belief that galvanised his teammates.  Step up Mark Hickey. Mark had spent the early part of the match keeping Charlie company, but when his chance came he took it, and we captured the set 25-19.

So now it came down to the fifth set – the sprint to the finish.  We marched into an early lead and kept it to change ends at 8 two points in front.  Charlie was still performing heroics.  Mark was still offering excellent hitting chances to his spikers, and at 13-7 up we could smell that most welcome victory.  We closed the set and the match with a 15th point kill, and started to celebrate.  

There’s one match to go to win the Championship.  We will play NUVOC again, but this time at our venue.  Before that we have the Plate Final to play.  The opposition next Saturday will be City of Edinburgh II.  They are a young team, but an excellent team, with players who have worked hard and learned all season.  This match is no foregone conclusion, both teams will expect to win, but winning the match today, against Lenzie, will have given our boys a bag full of confidence that they can use in next week’s encounter.

So, well done to Captain Gordie McGilivray and his troops, and roll on next weekend.