Close Encounter of the Cruellest Kind

It was a familiar story of ‘so near yet so far’ with two narrow defeats for both Dundee sides in their National League 1 games.  The men’s side travelled to Coatbridge for a crucial match against Su Ragazzi ll and were involved in a series of nail biting sets.  Dundee opened up with a run of 6 points from the Boris Prodanov serve.  The 9/3 lead became 15/7 but the home side started to claw their way back winning small runs of points.  Dundee still had an 18/14 lead but found winning the service back very difficult.  Barry Millar, Oz Dowie and Lewis Crockart all scored points but 4 errors and a score block against gave the home side the first set 25/23.  Both sides traded points in the second set with Colin Mcevoy and Rad Marinov both scoring points to keep Dundee in touch at 14/16.  Mike Coward and Boris combined to take the visitors into a 21/20 lead.  The sides were level at 23/23 with Dundee scoring a big point with a ‘stuff block’ from Colin Mcevoy but the celebrations were cut short.  Instead of set point for them, it was set point against as the second official called a net fault!  Captains and officials debated the decision and the score, but it was Ragazzi who stole the set 26/24.

Dundee then turned on the power and with Prodanov and Coward both scoring well they took a 12/4 lead.  Ragazzi had little to reply with and despite 3 points late in the set Dundee won 25/17.

The fourth set saw both side go toe-to-toe trading points with the home side forced into mistakes.  The score was tied at 19/19 then Ragazzi stole two score blocks to take a 2-point lead.   Dundee scored a run to have set point at 24/22.  A side out point then a mistake with a power attack gave the home side hope at 24/24. There was then a frantic period of long rallies with great defence and clever hitting but it was the home side that found a way through the Dundee defence to win the set 27/25 and win the match 3/1.