WEYMOUTH pushed holders and league giants Polonia all the way before being beaten 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-17) in the National Cup.

To show the size of the task the Seasiders faced, Polonia are the champions of the English Super League, and play two divisions higher than Weymouth.

This was also Polonia’s final match before they take on Zagreb in the European Cup so they were out to play at their highest level.

So despite the defeat, Weymouth can be very proud at how hard they pushed such a strong side.

Polonia edged ahead in the first set and led 8-5 but, from here, Weymouth were able to hold their own and matched Polonia point for point with some excellent outside-hitting from Ian Denslow and Valdis Baranovs.

At 17-14, it still looked possible that Weymouth could come back to take the set but at this point Polonia showed their class with some superb power hitting and back court recoveries and ran out 25-17 winners.

The second set saw Polonia start at their best particularly with some fast outside-attacks from Australian Olympic player Aden Tutton which Weymouth did not really have an answer to.

Weymouth were also struggling to control the power serving from Polonia but Weymouth setter Ryan Stout was still managing to convert this into some good attacking possibilities and middle-hitters Sam Groom and Darren Harding were working hard at blocking the Polonia attacks.

However, the visitors were too strong and won the set 25-12.

Weymouth could have let their heads drop at this point but instead they showed great character to storm back and lead in the third set 6-4.

Weymouth service receivers Valdis Baranovs, Tom Allen and Elliott Sawyer learnt to cope with the Polonia serve and, as result, Weymouth’s attack was much stronger and Liam Tewkesbury’s and Allen’s hitting in particular gave Polonia problems..

The set went point for point but, as in the first set, Polonia’s extra power and experience saw them start to gain the vital points towards the end of the set and they pulled away to take the set 25-17 and the match 3-0.

So although this was a defeat for Weymouth they gained tremendous experience for playing a team of such a high level with many of the Weymouth side never having played at this level and pace before.

Weymouth coach Stuart Jeanes said: “Although we are disappointed to have lost I am very proud of the team and how hard they fought, the team will have learnt a lot and hopefully now they can convert that into our upcoming league performances, I would also like to thank the amazing crowd who supported us superbly throughout the match.”

Weymouth now return to National League Division Two South action when they play Urbond from Portsmouth on Saturday at Redlands (2.30pm).


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