Horndean edge tough battle with Guildford

Nasser Ssemuwemba   Picture: Allan Hutchings (133265-890)
Nasser Ssemuwemba Picture: Allan Hutchings (133265-890)
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Horndean had to dig in to beat Guildford International 3-2 as the battle intensifies at the top of National League division two.

Rivals Wessex had taken top spot earlier in the day but the Deans snatched it back with their dramatic success.

It took Horndean two hours to sink a battling Guildford in a tense five-set match at Dorking’s Friends Life sports hall on Sunday.

Player-coach Nasser Ssemuwemba was a relieved man as Horndean held strong to make it nine wins on the bounce in all competitions.

He said: ‘The amount of resistance Guildford exhibited shows that from the top of our league all the way to the very bottom, every team is competitive.

‘Depending on the night, you could be in for a battle just like we found ourselves in.’

Leandros Tsikras’ powerful jump serves did plenty of damage early on for Horndean.

And with Haakon Lie’s well angled shots it looked like being a simple first set.

Guildford dug in before Marcus Russell’s quick hits sealed a 25-20 opening set for Horndean.

The second set went against Horndean.

But they stormed back, with attacking trio Stephen Metherell, Maciej Kubis and Damian Roberts firing them to a 25-17 third set win.

Guildford then struck again to force a decider.

Horndean maintained their composure to win 15-9.

Deans man-of-the-match Marcus Russell feels there are lessons to be learned.

He said: ‘We came up against a well-organised team.

‘I’m pleased we managed to fight and win.

‘However, let’s hope the lesson learned from this match will help us in our future progress.’

On Saturday the Deans travel to Flaming Six Aces in the national shield quarter-final.