Deans bounce back with straight-forward win

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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A superB performance from Nasser Ssemuwemba helped Horndean return to winning ways with a straight sets victory over Dartford.

Ssemuwemba, who played as an outside attacker instead of a middle blocker, was a constant menace to the home team’s hapless defence at Dartford Science & Technology College.

The Deans, determined to make amends for their National League division two south defeat against Richmond last time out, made their intentions clear right from the start.

They sprinted into an early 8-2 lead before going on to wrap up the opening set 25-15, thanks to skipper Leandros Tsikras’ powerful jump serves and Haakon Lie’s hard hits.

Tsikras, who had spoken frankly of his disgust at last Sunday’s humbling against Richmond, was pleased with the team’s consistent display that saw them run out 25-18 second-set winners.

He said: ‘They had no answer to our attacks and powerful serves in the first two sets.

‘We dominated right from start to finish and all the players, including our two makeshift middle blockers – Jakub Chruscicki and Adamantios Xanthoudidis – stayed focused at all times.

‘The first pass was good and that’s why we looked invincible in attack.

‘I must say that it was a professional job and I want to applaud the six players who managed to travel.’

Dartford, who had come into this fixture in buoyant mood after a dominating win over last season’s division one outfit City Bristol, made a few changes in the third set.

The move nearly paid off, as they traded points with the Deans, who were were forced to use all their time outs.

But opposite spiker Damian Roberts ensured the team kept their cool to seal a 26-24 third set victory.

Man-of-the-match Ssemuwemba said: ‘The six we took to Dartford played their socks off and any of them was befitting the man-of-the-match accolade.

‘They attacked with precision and were not afraid to scrap for the loose balls.

‘I think the hard work in training paid dividends, especially in the third set when we were forced to back-pedal by Dartford.’

The Deans host Exeter Storm at Highbury College on Saturday (11.30am).