Storm off to a winning start in front of record crowd
A new Storm line-up, with 7 new players joining 7 re-signings from last season, was eager to impress both the record sell-out crowd at Surrey Sports Park and Head Coach, Mary Beardwood
A relatively shaky first quarter saw the visitors go 2 – 0 up courtesy of Ex-England Player/Coach, Lisa Stanley, before Storms own powerhouse Rachel Dunn could respond to level things up. Tessa Burton at Centre and Marie Ewing at GA for Northumbria were particularly impressive, putting the Storm defence under pressure for the ball. The first quarter ended with Team Northumbria up 10 goals to 9, and Storm on the back foot.
Quarter 2 was more testing for both sides, Burton getting warned by the umpires for persistent obstruction/contact early on and Storm levelling the score 2 minutes in - the last time they would draw or fall behind in the fixture. Dunn and Cosentino were convincing in the Storm attacking circle, both only missing one in the quarter, a success rate mirrored by their Northumbria counter-parts. Hannah Reid and Katy Holland, however, causing more disruptions in their defensive end, limited the away goals to only 7 and contributing 5 turnover goals. Q2 score – 27 – 17 to Surrey Storm.
Both teams made changes at half time, Storm swapping Seaton for Bello at WD, utilising the depth of talent and experience they have at that position, and Northumbria resting Burton, bringing Kelly Martin across to Centre and introducing Jade Johnson to the game at WD. Storm Captain Tamsin Greenway was convincing throughout, following on from her England Test Series appearances, and offering all the way down the court. A superb centre pass was blown as off-side to much uproar from the crowd, resulting in the bench getting warned by Umpire Lucy Mitchell, disrupting a run of Storm goals. However, the home team soon brushed themselves down hitting the 40 goal mark with 2 minutes remaining, Dunn personally putting away 15 goals in the third quarter alone before Becky Trippick was warned for deliberate contact. Storm went into the final quarter 18 goals up, leading 44 – 26.
The fourth quarter was slower for both teams, with only 2 Storm goals being scored in the first 2 and half minutes. Dunn was tested by a physically competitive Northumbria defence, resulting in three crashes to the floor in 7 minutes, fortunately not affecting her shooting stats – with her netting another 11 from 12 attempts. Holland once again proved her worth some incredible flying interceptions, earning her the ‘Gidden Place’ Most Valuable Player award in her debut Superleague appearance.
The game ended in a comfortable 58 – 32 win for Surrey Storm, a result that the visitors should be pleased with following two heavy defeats to Storm last season.
Head Coach Mary Beardwood was pleased with the win, and impressed with her side – ‘We are a team with excellent depth, and incredible youth – something that was clear to see on court today. Katy Holland’s debut should make other teams sit up and take notice! Our England players have come out of a particularly exhausting Test Series and Camp, so whilst we have a lot to learn I am just pleased the season has started and we are able to just get out there and play netball’
Surrey Storm are on the road next week, taking on Northern Thunder in Bury before their next sell-out Home Game (Sky) versus local rivals Hertfordshire Mavericks, at Surrey Sports Park on Monday 7th February.
Tickets for upcoming home fixtures against Loughborough Lightening and Leeds Carnegie are available from the Surrey Sports Park Box Office on 01483 689111 or by visiting http://www.surreysportspark.co.uk/events/boxoffice.
Surrey Storm Starting Line Up: GS Rachel Dunn, GA Gemma Cosentino, WA Tamsin Greenway (Capt), C Becky Trippick, WD Stef Bello, GD Katy Holland, GK Hannah Reid Subs: Natalie Seaton, Fran Desmond, Fran Plom, Zoe Leavers, Adele Modeste Changes: 3rd Q - Seaton to WD
Team Northumbria Starting Line Up: GS Lisa Stanley, GA Marie Ewing, WA Vicky Burgess, C Tessa Burton, WD Kelly Martin, GD Natalie Connor (Capt), GK Abi Ryan Subs: Josie Pointon, Laura Carter, Jade Johnson, Sarah Penny, Darcie Worsdale Changes: 3rd Q – Martin to C, Johnson to WD. 4th Q - Ryan to GD, Penny to GK, Pointon to GA Overall Shooting Stats Surrey Storm – 58/72 81% Team Northumbria – 32/54 59%