Paola overcome Flyers to keep top spot. Valletta make it to Cup final

Thursday, January 13, 2011, 13:27

Paola Hibs were made to fight to maintain the top spot in the Ladies First Division, while Playvolley beat Fleur de Lys to occupy the second place.

The returning Golden Girls beat Flyers 2 in a Cup match while Valletta San Antonio advanced to the next stage of the Men’s National Cup when they beat Fleur de Lys.

In the weekend’s top ladies league match, Paola Hibs maintained the top spot in the standings but were made to fight hard by an ever improving Flyers Depiro.

Poala looked tired coming back from their camp in Reggio Calabria, and although Alison Borg was included in the line up she continues to show she is not at her fittest and continues to be bothered by a back injury.

Flyers, on their part, surely felt dejected to have nothing to show in a match in which they were always very close and eventually ended 1-3 (25-23; 21-25; 24-26; 23-25).

Depiro took an early lead in the first set and despite Hibs’ comeback, they managed to hold on to their narrow lead to win the set 25-23.

The next three sets were a ding-dong battle with both teams taking turns to lead but with Paola always managing to get to the finishing line first.

Depiro’s players managed to win a number of points by putting Paola under pressure through a series of spikes which saw the latter’s block fail and defence struggle.

It was only when they opted to eliminate the block and concentrate more on defence that Paola improved and reciprocated with their own effective spikes to win the game and keep the top spot which they have now occupied for a number of years.

PlayVolley managed to dispose of Fleur de Lys in three straight sets (25-23; 25-18; 25-16) to earn second place in the standings, even if they have a game more than Depiro.

Anything could have happened had Fleur de Lys won the first set, in which they cam close, but with Playvolley controlling the set, Fleur de Lys fizzled out and offered no real resistance in the second and third sets.

The National League Cup saw the return of a number of girls who graced Maltese Volleyball in past years.

The experience of players like Jelena Curmi, Sarah Curmi, sisters Pat Tabone and Anne Marie Darmanin, Giselle Gingell Little John, Nadia Lanzon and Tasha Pace was still evident despite the fact that they have not played in a few years.

Despite this Flyers 2 young players, ably led by coach Stephen Buttigieg, still offered some resistance even if they could do little to stop Golden Girls beating them 3-0 (25-16; 25-15; 25-17).

Men’s Father Parnis National Cup

In the men’s Father Parnis Natioanl Cup Valletta beat Fleur de Lys 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23).

Valletta played below par while Fleur De Lys played enthusiastically, particularly in the last two sets, putting Valletta under considerable pressure.

Valletta’s experience paid off in the end as they always managed to turn the result in their favour towards the end of each set.

Fleur De Lys were unable to control the comfortable advantage that they built in every set despite their libero playing an excellent game.

Although the level of play was not as high as expected, the players still showed commitment and focus and had a consistent service, especially through Dalton Caruana.

Their service reception got better as the game progressed. Valletta however had too many mistakes in their block and their attack also left much to be desired.

Libero Vince Pace also confirmed the fine patch that he is currently going through both in defence and reception.

Other games played last weekend:
U15 Flyers vs Southend Red 2-0
Flyers vs Southend Pink 2-0
Hibs vs Playvolley 2-0

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