With the season now having started it was the time for the first outing of the season. With a couple of last year’s players having moved up to play National League Div 1 Raiders had opportunities for two new faces. Playing at home they were hosting league newcomers Wrenn School. Any thoughts that they would be nervous were quickly dispelled with two fast attack shorts that were buried just outside of the 3m line. This was followed up by strong serving from Ben and Sam and the Wrenn boys opened up a 14-5 lead. Oliver pulled a few back on his service for Rushden but it wasn’t enough to save the set. 25-20 to the Wrenn.
In set 2 Raiders shuffled the pack and this led to the set going point for point. The Raiders started to put up a more consistent block and with a few service errors from Wrenn, Rushden were able to close out the set for a 25-23 win.
Set 3 was again tight until a few strong jump serves from the Raiders put the Wrenn serve receive under pressure picking up 6 points. It was a lead that they wouldn’t surrender. They went on to take the set 25-21.
Raiders switched the pack again in Set 4 and they moved into a 12-8 lead. The Wrenn boys were not about to give up, Alex and Josh serving the score back to 17 all. In the closing points the Raiders picked up on the second ball dumps from Ben and were able to hit some telling spikes. The last few rallies were hard fought with both sides picking the ball but the Raiders managed to keep their noses in front and took the set 25-23 and the match 3-1. This was a cracking game, it was also a good benchmark for the Wrenn boys who were playing against adults for the first time, they will be a tough team to beat later in the season based on this performance.
20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23
MVP for Wrenn was Alex.