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Lancaster 3-1 York
The match began with neither team really taking a great advantage over the other. Throughout the first set the score did remain in favour of York, but Lancaster were never too far behind, it was simply down to a matter of finding form.
Lancaster couldn’t quite get their flow, allowing York to take the first set of five. However, after a re-group before the second set, Lancaster came straight back out calm and steady, with an enthusiastic Michael Johner remaining solid at the back and driving encouragement to keep his team focused.
Positivity reigned through the team as points finally began to pour in for Lancaster with Johner and Craig Richardson both smashing points over the net. Richardson came into his element into the second set after having a thundering start helping Lancaster to lead 10-3 after just several minutes, and gradually maintaining a 10 point lead over York throughout the set.
It has to be noted that nearly all of the assists leading to the powerful strikes were devised by captain Luke Blackwell, who’s consistent accurate passing produced endless opportunities for Lancaster’s offence. Lancaster then went on to take an emphatic second set, as play looked promising.
The third set began much like the second had ended; with great link up amongst the team, Blackwell and Richardson still churning the points, and Johner diving forward with the occasional strike. Guoda Cibaitė of Lancaster also kept things solid in the centre of the court keeping the ball afloat in desperate situations and being generally well positioned.
Another set for Lancaster was won which brought the overall score to 2-1. One more victory and Lancaster would achieve another win and more points on the Roses scoreboard. Judging on the play in the last two sets, it seemed as though Lancaster would deliver comfortably, and that they did.
After several substitutions, Blackwell was providing for a new offence. Lancaster’s Cannings came into the game at pace scoring a few crucial points, and was often followed up well by team mate Pakowski, who continued to power those lasts potentially match winning points through.
The spirit could not be faulted at all throughout the game as any mistake made was quickly forgotten and support was immediately implemented, keeping Lancaster’s confidence high at all times. Eventually, the fourth set was taken with a convincing score of 25-10, finishing with an overall score of 3-1 on sets to Lancaster.
Captain Blackwell had this to say after the game; “we started as a bit of a mess, but we very quickly gathered ourselves and we did what we do best and came through with the win.”
The match undoubtedly demonstrated immense teamwork due to the fact that Lancaster were two different teams combined as one, but playing as though they had always been a whole unit, fluent and optimistic.