Magnum give Clippers 3-0 haircut to take grade title
The credentials of top qualifiers Magnum were justified on Thursday night as they secured the presidents grade title in Marlborough Volleyball's Fairweathers Senior Winter League with a 3-0 win over Clippers.
Unbeaten on their way to the final, multiple-title winners Magnum put on a superb display of all-round volleyball at Marlborough Lines Stadium and grew in confidence as the match wore on. However, despite the straight-sets result, Clippers were certainly worthy finalists. As well as taking the first set right down to the wire they contributed greatly to an entertaining match.
The opening exchanges set the tone for an exciting contest as the two teams battled to 20-20 in the first set. In the end, it was Magnum's greater finals experience that shone through as, led by captain Nigel Sowman, they prevailed in the big points and drew first blood 25-23.
Magnum shifted up another gear in the second and it became clear it was going to be a tough night at the office for Clippers. Excellent positional play from Greg Lindsay-Brown and some powerful play from lofty hitters such as Duncan Anderson were the highlights as they wrapped up the set and the title 25-18.
With their confidence now sky-high, Magnum used a variety of different front-court combinations in the third set. Numerous long rallies ensued and Clippers' attack produced a near-perfect display, but it was still not enough as their classy opponents sealed the clean-sweep 25-16.
While the whole Magnum unit performed well, skipper Sowman was the standout and his efforts were rewarded when he was named the A grade MVP. For Clippers, captain Tristan Hegglun was outstanding and set superbly, while Seb Lock and Tristan Ferguson were also impressive.
Elsewhere in presidents grade, Cri Clovers took third place with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Treefellas, while Kinoaths beat Can't Touch This 3-0 in the playoff for fifth.
Meanwhile, a close final in C grade went to rankings as top qualifiers Westmeat Geriatrics overcame Marlborough Boys' College 2-1.
Geriatrics got off to a fine start and took the first set 25-19. MBC fought back and levelled things up when they won the second set by the same scoreline. Both teams rose to the occasion in the third and deciding set, but it was Geriatrics who dug slightly deeper to secure the set and title 25-21.
Mike Thomas and Brendon Sutherland were the standouts for Geriatrics, while Hayden Shaw, Harrison Kilgour and Toby Hogg played key roles for MBC. Smashed `Em Bro downed MIA 3-0 to finish third, Safe Crackers collecting fifth place with a 3-0 win over JAMASH.
Debbie Kidd of Smashed `Em Bro was named C grade MVP.
The other MVPs named on Thursday night were Mary-Claire James (B grade), Claire Johnston (mixed grade) and Simon Petrie (social grade).
Results from finals, Thursday, June 28:
President's grade: Final - Magnum beat Clippers 3-0. Third place playoff - Cri Clovers beat Treefellas 2-1. Fifth place playoff - Kinoaths beat Can't Touch This 2-1.
C grade: Final - Westmeat Geriatrics beat MBC 2-1. Third place playoff - Smashed 'Em Bro beat MIA 3-0. Fifth place playoff - Safe Crackers beat JAMASH 3-0 .
Mixed grade: Final - The A-Team beat Desp Housewives 2-1. Third place playoff - Safe Air Social beat Meaters 2-1. Fifth place playoff - Playschool beat Six Pack Dreamers 3-0.
Social grade: Final - International beat Team Wilson 3-0. Third place playoff - Theorists beat Mambo No.7 2-1.