With new coach/setter Chris Teoh and libero Alex Porter coming into the team, the Lions were confident heading into their second game of the Essex League season.  A nervy start to the first set meant neither side could pull away until, with Chelmsford ahead 5:7, strong serving from James Chapman took Tendring into a 12:7 lead, aided by good attacking play from Rob Sharman through the middle and Alan Kempen on the outside.  Whenever Chelmsford got a point, the defending from Aaron Jones and Porter denied Chelmsford any opportunity to get a run of serve going. The Lions reached 19:11 before Warren Brown came on in place of Kempen, immediately showing his credentials by powering a shot down the line for another point.  Bradley Forsyth, hitting reverse, provided a very useful third option to take advantage of Chris Teoh’s setting.  Doug Garner then came on in place of Teoh, allowing Tendring to close out the first set 25:16.

Tendring started the second set with the same setup as the first but confusion in defense and improved play from the visitors meant Chelmsford took an early lead at 3:10.  Tendring regained some composure, with Kempen attempting some acrobatics to retrieve the ball, but they couldn’t close the gap enough and Chelmsford took the second set 20:25.

A change of formation was called for in the third set, with Jones and Chapman playing through the middle, Kempen and Brown on the outside, Forsyth hitting reverse, and Teoh setting.  This was a much tighter set with both sides tipping the ball over the net more often, trying to find gaps behind the opponent’s block.  With the exception of two more good serving runs from Jones and Kempen, which were promptly cancelled out by Chelmsford’s own servers, the set was finely balanced all the way to 24:24.  Tendring’s hitters eventually proved too strong though, with the Lions taking the set 26:24.

In the fourth set, some great defensive pick-ups from Forsyth and blocking in the middle from Jones and Chapman stifled Chelmsford’s strongest hitter early on.  Having largely nullified the threat from the opposition, the Lions were able to get into a rhythm, earning a seven point lead at 16:9.  Garner again came on in place of Teoh as setter to see out the match, Tendring winning the fourth and final set 25:20.

This was a very encouraging performance from the whole team, especially with some players making their debut.  MVP was awarded to Alan Kempen.