Cruise control to fifth set nail biting thriller
Dundee’s men went from cruise control to nail biting finish in a 5 set thriller last Saturday when they entertained Su Ragazzi ll in Craigie High School in their last home game of the League 1 season. The visitors are league leaders and were defeated easily 3/0 by Dundee last month in the second game of the top 3 play-offs in their home venue. They arrived to gain revenge and take a huge step to secure the league title. Neither side could establish any sizeable lead in the first set with Boris Prodanov in unstoppable form. He scored 7 of Dundee’s points as they took a 15/14 lead. Two serving errors from the home side allowed Ragazzi to stay close then two big hits from Prodanov gave Dundee a 20/18 lead. Mike Coward then weighed in by scoring 4 points to take a set point lead at 24/21. A clever, quick play by Rad Marinov gave Dundee the first set 25/21.
Ragazzi came back strongly with power hitter, Gordon McGillvery, causing the home side problems as they took a 16/13 lead. Prodanov and Coward again came to the fore as they powered the team to level the scores at 20/20. They both combined to score a net block, a counter attack point then Coward scored a service ‘ace’ to take a 23/20 lead. Prodanov and Marinov again scored the last 2 points to win the set 25/20 for a comfortable 2/0 lead.
Ragazzi changed their formation and runs of points gave them a 13/9 lead. A series of errors from both service and attacks kept the teams apart and it was a score from Lewis Crockart and a fine display at the net from Abertay student, Craig Goldthorpe, to level the scores at 21/21. Weak attacks allowed the visitors to score 2 counter attack points and they stole the set 25/21.
With their tails up and all the momentum, Ragazzi steam rollered the home side in the fourth set. Dundee took a 6/1 lead but then fell apart as they struggled to control the Ragazzi service and mount a scoring attack. The Glasgow side won the set 25/13 in double quick time, forcing a fifth set tie break.
The efforts to close the gap and get to the fifth set took its toll and the visitors started to falter, with 6 errors giving the home side a 9/6 lead. The tension then affected the home side as they struggled to control their power in attack and Ragazzi levelled the score at 13/13. A big scoring net block against Prodanov gave Ragazzi match point at 14/13. Lewis Crockart scored from the left side of the court to go to 14/14. Up stepped Marinov again as he scored another quick attack and then, with Mike Coward, ‘blocked’ Ragazzi’s Calum Stewart’s attack to win the set 16/14 and the game 3/2!