WITH Chelmsford in their final Essex Division 2 league game of the season, and with both teams mid table, this was a close game. It went to a deciding fifth set, but when the individual set scores were totted up, Harlow just edged out the home team by one rally.
Chelmsford had a full squad available and captained by Steve Peacock took an early lead. Richard Bohannan and daughter Rachel were setting well and Claudia Lambert alongside Peacock were using the middle attack intelligently while the power hitting outside came from Kunjan Jasani and Maelle Niederquell. But as the set wore on, and Harlow’s Agno came to the net, the fate of the set changed. He and Mwando both had prodigious jumps and were able to hit over the Chelmsford block. Peacock led the defence well, but the power was too much and Harlow took the set 25-19.
In a switch round, player coach Dave Gentry came on with Narayan Koimuttam, both taller players, and presented a better block against Agno and Mwando. This proved the deciding point for sets two and three with Chelmsford taking them 25-16, 25-22 to go 2-1 up. Harlow responded by fielding their player coach Ilia Kalanov whose steady head gave his attackers the balls they could score points with. In a closely contested set, that saw Chelmsford 23-20 at one stage, Harlow leveled the match 25-23 and two sets all.
Chelmsford had the run of the ball up to change of ends and were comfortable at 8-5, but then seemed to lose concentration. Scoring just two more points in the set, an increasingly noisy Harlow turned the tables and took the set 15-10. Player of the match for Chelmsford was Rachel Bohannan for all-round steady play. Chelmsford attention now turns to the Essex cups where both teams have an interest with the Tachikara Plate looking the most attractive for Chelmsford 2 who being on form should reach the final.