Sappers stay afloat with gritty win

Sappers stay afloat with gritty win

Volleyball: A Division League

Madras Engineer Group (MEG) played out of their skin to register a come-from-behind 22-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-13, 15-11 victory over South Western Railway (SWR) in the 19th State ‘A’ Division volleyball championship at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here on Saturday.

With their spirited triumph, MEG have kept their hopes of qualifying for the second phase alive.

The Sappers face a shootout against Postal on Sunday in which a victory will see the winners advancing while the losers get eliminated.

In a closely-fought contest, SWR began impressively with Somanath and Vinod in the thick of things. The former was strong at the net, as he has always been, smashing with great power and precision. 

Vinod did a good job thwarting MEG’s potentially point-winning smashes from Prince and Bipin.

Leading 20-15 at one stage, the Railwaymen were pegged back by MEG who reduced the gap to 20-19. But SWR didn’t face too many problems thereafter taking the set 25-22.

With their backs to the wall, MEG blasted their way past SWR in the second set. Prince was in particularly good nick dodging the SWR blockers to clinch some forceful points for his team.

The domination was such that MEG had a 11-point lead at 17-6. Though Railways got a few points in between MEG’s rampaging game, the latter still ran out second set winners by a 12-point margin with a 25-13 verdict.

In the third set, neither team was giving an inch to the other initially. SWR then took a 13-10 lead which they extended to a six-point margin at 20-14.

Couple of good smashes from MEG’s Prabhu saw them tie the scores at 23-23. But SWR kept their cool to win the set 25-23.

Looking to take the match to the fifth set, MEG had their task cut out in the fourth set. Akhil was the star for the Sappers this time as he pocketed a bucketful of points leaving the Railwaymen dazed.

Akhil in the company of the ever present Prince helped MEG pocket the set 25-13. MEG replicated the same resilience with a team effort in the decider to emerge 15-11 victors.
Results: ‘A’ Division: MEG bt SWR 22-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-13, 15-11; KSP bt LIC 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22.

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