Tendring 3-2 Bristol VC

Report by Neil Masters

Tendring gained the top spot in Division 2 for the first time this season. They extended their 100% win record with their seventh win and will start 2018 in pole position.
However, the win was not achieved in the manner expected.

Tendring faced Bristol VC for the second time in 6 days. Last Sunday, the two team met with Tendring playing out an impressive 3-0 win with a skeleton squad.

Tendring playing at home with a stronger squad and Bristol with a minimum of 6 players the same result was expected.

But Bristol proved to be much more dangerous than perceived. Tendring fought hard in the first two sets but took them relatively easily 25-20, 25-18. Coach Bastien Chabe-Ferret’s tactics and personal changes worked perfectly and despite some resistance Bristol looked destined for the same result as last Sunday.

The start of the third set had a different look about it. Bristol shuffled their starting line up to allow their best attacker to have more opportunities to score.

Bristol had no other choice but to go for their shots and started to find success through their wing hittters. Tendring fought hard and took an early lead but Bristol continued to cause Tendring trouble and their confidence grew. As the set developed Bristol fought for everything. Now with their attack becoming more potent, their defence and block also improved. The pressure rolled and Tendring started to make more errors.

The teams were still neck and neck going into the latter stages of the third set. But crucial errors from Tendring allowed Bristol a set point and they took the opportunity and the set 25-23.
Tendring sent out their strongest line up for fourth, hoping to make amends. Now buoyed by their performance, Bristol started the strongest and Tendring never managed to get a foothold in the set. Error after error from the tendring side made it an easy win for Bristol, taking the match into the decider.

With the shortened format of the final set, it is always about momentum and Tendring had to turn their performance around in order to get the win that they desired.

A positive team talk settled focused the squad. Good serving got the momentum shifting in Tendring favour and an early 4-1 lead. Tendring desperate not to give too many points to the opposition, recovered well from a couple of errors. Some referee decisions went in Tendring’s favour and the sides changed ends with Tendring looking the most suitable team to take the match.

A number of exciting rallies fell To Tendring’s tally and after 15 minutes, Tendring took the fifth 15- 8 and the match 3-2.

Despite not winning the mannered hoped, the win sets up 2018 in the best possible way, as Tendring look for promotion.