Deacons edged Barbados Bearings Progressive 3-2 when the two sides met in the ongoing 2015 Goddard Enterprises Limited-sponsored Division One League at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex yesterday evening.
Deacons who have a rich history of winning the men’s league had to dig deep in order to take the game into a fifth set and deny the reigning 2015 knockout kings another win.
Deacons were up 8-6 and Progressive did well to put themselves back into it at 16-15 at the second mandatory break. Deacons, however, kept a close tab on their opponents and managed to tie the scores at 19-19 and eventually went on to take the game 25-22.
Deacons took that momentum into the second set with an 8-5 lead but Progressive did not appear too bother as they backed themselves to recover with some good blocks and hard spikes on the outside from captain Akeem Payne and Fabian Cox in particular. The scores were locked 14-14 and Progressive with two good blocks went ahead 16-14 and never looked back, taking the set 25-20 to level the game at 1-1.
Progressive then went up 2-1 when they swung the momentum in their favour and took the third set 25-21 after Deacons gave away simple points that, obviously, did not make their coach Andrew Culpepper seem too pleased.
From the sidelines Culpepper instructed his men to float serve the ball and do whatever else they had to at the nets and that they did in the fourth set. Deacons followed those instructions and took the lead 8-4 but Progressive responded and tied the scores 9-9 and then went up 10-9. That did not affect Deacons overly as they regained the advantage and went ahead 16-13. However, the persistent Progressive outfit came back and levelled things at 17-17. Deacons with loud fan support were fired up and won by a clear margin of five points, 25-20, in what was now a heated battle.
The fifth and decisive set shaped up to be an interesting one or so many thought as Progressive who are usually good at coming from behind to upset their opponents, never showed up to the party as Deacons lead 8-3 and then claimed the set 15-10, and the game, to the delight of their fans.