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Scorpions sting HMS Darwin

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Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions captain Pin Sarath (left) collects the Armed Art trophy from Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Margaret Adamson Tuesday.

Cambodian disabled volleyball team Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions beat the Australian navy’s HMS Darwin side 3-0 in their annual friendly match

THE Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions took home the coveted CNVLD-ADF trophy after stinging the Australian navy’s HMAS Darwin team 3-0 in their annual volleyball match.

The Cambodia National Volleyball League (Disabled) again honoured the invitation to participate in the Royal Cambodian Navy-Australian Defence Forces sports afternoon Tuesday at Ream Naval Base, continuing a tradition that began in 2005 with the first ever match against the crew from the HMAS Adelaide.

Attended by the Admiral of the Royal Cambodian Navy and his senior officers, the Commander of the HMAS Darwin, the Australian Ambassador to Cambodia and the Australian military attaches to Cambodia office, the event was an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the fresh sea air.

The HMAS Darwin team arrived on the court looking like they meant business, dressed in their official team uniforms, with at least three players over 6 ft tall and a healthy row of substitutes. Never a team to buckle to nerves or appearance, the Scorpions quickly set about dissecting the Australian crew with a rapid succession of bullet velocity spikes.

Before HMAS Darwin could blink, the first set was crisply concluded 25-4. The Scorpions refused to let up on their esteemed visitors, and swiped the second set 25-9.

After a quick refreshment break and a healthy rotation of substitutes, the Aussies gelled and threatened to take the initiative as the early stages of the third set stayed neck and neck. But the Scorpions aren’t currently ranked second in the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League for nothing, and Pin Sarath’s domination at the net, ably assisted by veteran Phat Yoy, saw the Cambodians cruise through to victory 25-15.

The Cambodian Navy also fielded a volleyball team for the first time this year, and all were eager to test their skills against the visiting side. After their comprehensive defeat at the hands of Kampong Speu, the HMAS Darwin team recruited Pin Sarath, Phat Yoy and Im Phiream to bolster their numbers. The Navy team were determined to put up a spirited fight against the combined opposition, displaying great tenacity but losing out 25-23, much to the delight of the Australian players and supporters.

Later in the afternoon, the HMAS Darwin football team ground out a 2-1 victory over the Cambodian Navy to take home the Cambodian-ADF football trophy for the first time in the five-year history of the event.

Scorpions coach Pin Sarath was presented the unique Armed Art trophy, manufactured from destroyed weapons, by Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Margaret Adamson, and Australian Defence Attache Alan Lyons, and was also presented an honorary HMAS Darwin sports kit by the crew.

The event garnered considerable local media coverage, with TV crews from CTN, TV5, Bayon TV and TVK all in attendance. The CNVLD was also accompanied by a Finnish documentary film crew, who are making a 30 minute film on the organisation, focusing on the lives and athletic endeavours of the Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions team.

All eyes now turn to the fourth round of games from the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League, being played today and Saturday at Olympic Stadium. Places in the October 16 finals are still up for grabs, with Siem Reap Globe Eagles already guaranteed a grand final berth. Games begin at 8am on both days, entrance is free.

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