Going for Cup Glory!

As the regular season portion of the Schelde Sports National League draws to a climax, attentions turn temporarily to the Scottish Cup, with the offer of even more silverware as a prize.

Scottish Volleyball offers no fewer than six national cup competitions which are open to all member clubs, and Sunday 13th March sees the final step for many on their road to Finals weekend at Wishaw on 14th & 15th May 2011.

A large crowd is expected for the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, with four matches being played back-to-back at Wishaw.

Su Ragazzi against COE at previous cup finalThe first match of the day pairs leading Division One teams City of Edinburgh and Su Ragazzi in the women’s Scottish Cup with a first ball time of 9.30am.  City of Edinburgh won the Cup three times in a row in the early 2000’s but missed out on an appearance in the final of the  ZOTI Top Teams Cup, which features only the Division One teams, due to an early season reversal at the hands of Su.  Meanwhile Lanarkshire-based Ragazzi women will be buoyed by a recent resurgence in form as they seek to win the only domestic trophy which has evaded them in their history.

Next up sees an intriguing battle with a potential 5 set match on the cards.  On paper, cup holders City of Glasgow Ragazzi should have no problems in dealing with Division Two opponents.  But when these Division Two opponents, Kilmarnock II, can field a team with over 50 cup final victories between them, and taking into account that Ragazzi have been ravaged by injuries of late, a victory for the top league team may not be as clear-cut as would first appear.

Kilmarnock II in action at 2009 FinalsUndoubtedly the game of the day is the second semi-final of the Mens cup, which brings together Division One heavyweights City of Edinburgh and Kilmarnock Blaze.  City are league champion’s from last year, and already have the mens ZOTI Top Teams Cup on the sideboard back in Queensferry.  Kilmarnock meanwhile are the most successful team in the history of the Scottish Cup, with 13 victories stretching back to the mid 1980’s  Both teams enjoyed success over one another in the league, so this is one match that could go all the way to the wire.

The final match on court pairs two teams with contrasting pedigrees, but no end of talent.  North Grampian could be a National League team, and a fine one at that, if they were not 200+ miles from their nearest opponents.  They have an excellent cup tradition, and appear in their second successive cup semi-final, as the only non-league team to ever reach the final four.  In their way stands defending league and cup champions, Troon Prestwick & Ayr… 

North Grampian in actionWishaw does not see the only cup action of the day, as there is a full programme of matches in the Thistle Bowl and Scottish Plate.  Amongst the pick of the ties in the Bowl is the all Division One mens clash between Edinburgh Jets and Glasgow Mets.  The other Thistle Bowl semi-final brings together Troon Prestwick & Ayr and Division Three promotion contenders Dundee II.

In the Womens Thistle Bowl former winners North Lanarkshire will start as warm favourites against South Ayrshire II, while the other tie is less clear cut, pairing Lenzie with Scottish Universities Champions Dundee University,

In the Mens Plate, NUVOC have the experience while South Ayrshire II have the youthful exuberance, while Su Ragazzi II will be looking to defend the honours of the Second Davison against their lower league opponents, the unbeaten Glasgow Mets II.

Finally in the Womens Plate, it’s top against bottom of Division Two as Troon Kyle & Carrick take on NUVOC II, while Dundee have the lengthy trip offshore to face Orkney in the second semi-final.

The full draw is as follows;

Times: Mens Scottish Cup Quarter Final Venue: Wishaw Sports Centre
fbs 11:30  City of Glasgow Ragazzi v Kilmarnock II
fbs 13:30   City of Edinburgh v Kilmarnock Blaze
Womens Scottish Cup Semi Final Venue: Wishaw Sports Centre
fbs 9.30 Su Ragazzi v          City of Edinburgh
fbs 15.30 North Grampian v Troon Prestwick & Ayr
Thistle Bowl and Plate Semi Finals are held at the teams home venue
Mens Thistle Bowl Semi Final
Edinburgh Jets v Glasgow Mets
Troon Prestwick & Ayr v Dundee II
Womens Thistle Bowl Semi Final
North Lanarkshire v South Ayrshire II
Lenzie v Dundee University
Mens Scottish Plate Semi Final
NUVOC                    v South Ayrshire II
Su Ragazzi II v Glasgow Mets II

Womens Scottish Plate Semi Final
Troon Kyle & Carrick v NUVOC II
Orkney v Dundee