The first home game of the season in National League Division 1 brought Team Birmingham to Dorking on Saturday 27th September.
With the team having undergone several changes over the summer, not least having changed coaches, it was probably not surprising that it took a while for the team to find their feet, losing the first set to 16 points.
In the second set despite a 5 point deficit in the early stages, the scoreboard didn’t reflect the increasing confidence in the Ashcombe team with the middle attack becoming increasingly effective. A good serving run from new signing Hannah Robinson brought the home team back in to contention and with momentum in their favour Ashcombe closed out the set 27-25 having saved a set point against.
Set 3 followed a similar pattern with Ashcombe having to play catch up for most of the set, but with some great hussling defence they stayed in touch and again were able to come good at the end of the set.
The early stages of the 4th set saw the teams trading points until substitute Ailsa McDonald came on from the bench to serve and immediately opened a 3 point lead. Now faced with a new challenge of protecting a lead coach, John Biddiscombe called a time out as the visitors threatened to stage a come back. Ashcombe went back to exploiting the different attacking options that had served them so well up until then and survived a late scare to take the set and the match 25-23.
Overall a good battling team victory for Ashcombe, which showed great character in coming back at the business end of the set, although it was difficult to single out individual players in the team as everyone contributed to the victory, Hannah Robinson was identified as the Most Valuable Player by the opposition.
Ashcombe 3 : 1 Birmingham (16-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-23)