HORNDEAN carried their sparkling form into the new year with a double National League division two south triumph over lowly New Forest.
They emerged supreme from a gruelling weekend of action that saw both sides clash in home and away fixtures at the Mountbatten Centre and Brockenhurst College respectively.
The Deans’ demolition of their adversaries was led by the dangerous duo of Greek setter Leandros Tsikras and ex-Team GP player Marcus Russell.
Tsikras tormented New Forest with his powerful jump serves, in the Dean’s 3-1 home victory on Saturday.
His dazzling performance, which later earned him the man-of-the-match accolade, helped Horndean to win the first two sets 25-18 and 25-17, respectively.
The third set slipped away but the Deans fought back to take the fourth set 25-15 and seal victory.
‘It was good to kick-start the year with a win,’ said Dean’s player coach Nasser Ssemuwemba.
‘I’m pleased that we managed to pull through.’
Horndean approached Sunday’s return leg at new Forest in ruthless mood.
And their aggressive start paid off, as they stormed into a blistering 7-0 lead, looking more like the home team.
But even when New Forest finally reclaimed their orientation on court, it was too late to stop the rampaging Deans from wrapping up the opening set 25-17.
Horndean again exhibited top form with well-placed powerful serves, fierce fast-tempo hits and solid blocks to win the second set 25-16.
The impressive visitors powered on to seal a 3-0 victory after clinching the third set 25-18.
Horndean’s players, Damian Roberts, Benoit Royer, Maciej Kubis, Jakub Chruscicki and skipper Stephen Metherell, all enjoyed the weekend.
Metherell said: ‘I want to congratulate all our players for an excellent performance over old rivals New Forest.
‘The passion and determination for success, plus good team spirit, enabled us to win both matches in a hectic weekend.’
Russell was named man of the match at New Forest.
He said: ‘Before the Christmas break, the team looked solid.
‘But there were always going to be fears on the fitness levels of players when we returned into action.
‘I’m happy to say that these two victories indicate the lads are still on track.’
The Deans are now looking forward to their shield match against Essex Estonians this Saturday at Highbury College.