Deans Storm to victory as Russell shines on return

Marcus Russell. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Marcus Russell. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Josh Green in action for England under-17s at the NEVZA Championshi. Picture: Hamistolen Photography

Green buoyant after his first international abroad

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Horndean made it two wins on the bounce with victory over Exeter Storm in National League division two south.

The Deans had to rely on the fire-power and big blocks of their most influential player Marcus Russell at Highbury College.

With playmaker Leandros Tsikras and king-pin Haakon Lie both unavailable, the home team were forced into last-minute changes.

They handed a debut to new signing Andreas Spyrou, while Russell crowned his first appearance of the season with a man-of-the-match performance.

Horndean wrapped up the first set 25-18.

But the second set was more evenly contested as the visitors fought back.

However, Russell and opposite player Damian Roberts were on hand to produce the big points to propel their side to a 25-21 second set triumph.

The third set mirrored the second.

Both teams traded points, forcing the lead to change hands on several occasion.

However, it was a nervy end to the match for the home side, following a nasty ankle injury to player-coach Nasser Ssemuwemba.

But just like he did when both teams met during last season’s Shield semi-final, Jakub Chruscicki pounced to settle the nerves by converting the last point of the match to ensure a 25-21 third-set victory.

After the game, Ssemuwemba had mixed emotions.

He said: ‘To come away with another straight-sets victory is absolutely amazing, considering that we had key players missing.

‘But I was very pleased with the team’s performance – most especially our new signing Andreas.

‘I thought he settled in well. But so did Jakub and Mark Byerley, they put in a good shift.

‘However, I’m disappointed with the injury that will probably keep me out of action for at least two months.

‘We are a small squad at the moment, and this injury means we are down in numbers for a crucial weekend.’

On Saturday, Horndean play division three outfit Kernow in the National Cup at Highbury College (1pm).

They then travel to City of Bristol on Sunday for a national league encounter.