VOLLEYBALL: Volleyball - Bronze Medal for N Ireland

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NORTHERN Ireland took the bronze medal at the British men's volleyball championships in Jordanstown at the weekend with a performance which bodes well for the future.

Although the Province lost out to the vastly experienced England and Scotland teams for the top two spots, the potential they showed will give new coach Gerry Ford huge optimism for the European Small Nations Championships and a World Championships qualifier early next year.

Northern Ireland lost 2-0 to England on Saturday, but were oh so close in the first set, going down only 25-23 to a team which boasts three professional players and which finished eighth in the Western European Championships this year.

On Sunday, Northern Ireland went down by a nailbiting 3-2 to Scotland after a phenomenal comeback from 17-20 down to take the fourth set.

Star of that set was Piers Browning, only on the first six because of injury but producing four stuff blocks in a row to leave Ulster 21-20 up and heading for victory. …