Tendring Mens 2nd 3 - 1 Team Essex Estonians

Report by Chris Teoh

Essex University Sports Centre, Colchester, Sunday 9th October 2016 – Tendring VC Men 2’s Captain and best scorer Craig Lawrie (Thorpe-le-Soken) led his team to a dream opening match win over Team Essex Estonians 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-19) on the day’s first fixture of volleyball action involving both mens’ National League teams and the Tendring VC Ladies squad who compete in the Volleyball England Super 8s competition.

Team Essex began the match strongly, maintaining a slight lead in the first stage of the set despite the strong presence of the Tendring supporters at the University Sports Centre in Colchester. But following two unforced errors, Tendring regained control taking the lead for the first time (15-14), remaining unstoppable after that thanks to a flurry of unanswered serves from veteran wing spiker Neil Masters (Frinton) and middle player James Chapman (Colchester) to take the first set 25-17.

The second set started well for Tendring with opposite player Alex Porter (Colchester) scoring the first two points. The hosts gained a two-point advantage soon after the first technical time out 10-8, increasing it soon after to five points at 23-18. The local rivals struggled to catch up with Tendring who were dominating in every element, eventually attaining victory in the second set 25-20, taking it 2-0.

Solid passing from defensive specialist in the Libero role Tom Akiens (Frinton) and intelligent attacking from Masters and Lawrie was the key for Tendring once again in the third set. With firm hands from middle blocker Tauras Maciulevicius (Wivenhoe), the Tendring outfit recovered from a bad start and seized a safe lead at 18-14. Team Essex lost focus to give away a handful of points and, even though the Estonians made some tactical changes, the introduction of serving specialist and player/coach Rees Warren (Colchester) was too much of a force for the Chelmsford side with Captain Craig Lawrie finally sealing the game, by 25-19.