Surrey Storm secured their second Netball London Live victory over Hertfordshire Mavericks on Saturday evening, winning 55-42 in front of a record breaking crowd of 6033 at London’s Copper Box Arena.
A very physical game saw a close encounter in the first two quarters with scores remaining level at half time before dominant 3rd and 4th quarters for Storm allowed them to pull away with the lead and secure the Netball London Live title for the second year in a row.
Coach Greenway named a familiar starting 7 for the biggest UK domestic netball match ever, with the England attacking trio and defensive pairing of Hannah Reid and Katy Holland taking to the court.
It was a nervy start to the match for Storm with Sam May flying out of the blocks for Mavericks to intercept a Storm first centre pass, which was converted by Kadeen Corbin to give them an early lead. However it wasn’t long before the England attacking trio found their feet as the familiar Greenway feed to Rachel Dunn saw Dunn net to bring scores back level. Continuous tight pressure from defensive pairing Reid and Holland saw both players turnover ball creating opportunities for Cookey and Dunn to find the target and extend Storm’s lead. As Mavericks ate into the deficit with seconds to play, quick thinking in the Storm attack saw Dunn convert on the whistle to give them a 18-13 advantage.
Both teams remained unchanged heading into the second quarter which started with end to end goals from both sides. A contact call against Dunn allowed Mavericks to turnover ball and Corbin scored to close the gap. A familiar Flanagan interception and Storm were again able to convert before turnovers in attack and defence for Mavericks allowed them to equalise. Mavericks took the lead for the first time in the match following a contact call against Pamela Cookey but, with Storm trailing by two, an injury timeout called by Kadeen Corbin put a stop to play late on in the quarter. As play resumed Dunn remained resilient against a physical Mavericks defensive in the circle and scored. With a minute remaining, Greenway launched a ball off the backline which allowed Mavericks to bring scores back level. The tight second quarter finished 28-28 as the half time whistle blew.
Mikki Austin took her place on court at C to start the second half with Ainsworth taking the WD position and Flanagan dropping to the bench. The second half saw a scrappy start for Storm who lost possession twice off their own centre pass. Luckily for Storm the same could be said for Mavericks who also struggled to retain ball possession at the start of the third. Another physical encounter between the two sides saw Cookey end up on the floor for the second time in the match. With Storm struggling to disrupt the Mavericks momentum, another misplaced feed from Austin allowed Mavericks to score and take a two goal lead. Hard work and defensive pressure soon paid off for Storm as Austin turned over ball in centre court allowing Cookey to find the target. With momentum now swinging back in Storm’s favour, they were able to capitalise on Mavericks errors and regain the lead 41-36 heading into the final quarter.
Holland and Reid were relentless in the final quarter picking out endless intercepts which allowed Storm to extend their lead out to a 10 goal advantage. A Greenway injury time out added a nervy few moments to the quarter but Mavericks were showing no signs of improvement and eventually succumbed to the Storm pressure. Storm secured the win beating close rivals Mavericks 55-42 to retain the Netball London Live title.
Player-coach Tamsin Greenway was awarded player of the match after a solid 60 minute performance.
A 6th consecutive win sees Greenway’s Storm side remain 2nd in the 2015 Netball Superleague table. Surrey now have their sights set on table toppers and northern nemesis Manchester Thunder as they return to Surrey Sports Park this Saturday for what promises to be a thrilling round 8 encounter between these two teams.
Netball London Live also saw the NPL squads go head-to-head in a friendly warm-up match, with Storm comfortably defeating Mavericks 60-38.
Player of the match: Tamsin Greenway
Surrey Storm starting 7:
GK – Reid
GD – Holland
WD – Flanagan
C – Ainsworth
WA – Greenway
GA – Cookey
GS – Dunn
Subs: Huckle, Lees, Austin, Borck, Harris
Changes: Austin to C, Ainsworth to WD (3rd quarter)
Hertfordshire Mavericks starting 7:
GK – Hutchinson
GD – Guscoth
WD – May
C – Buchanan
WA – S Corbin
GA – Watson
GS – K Corbin
Subs: Candappa, Keable, Morgan-Smith, East, Hankin
Changes: Candappa to C, Buchanan to WD (3rd quarter), Hankin to GS, Buchanan to C, May to WD (4th quarter)
Storm: Dunn 36/38, 95%; Cookey 19/22, 86%. Team 55/60, 92%.
Mavericks: K Corbin 15/18, 83%; Watson 22/24, 92%; East 1/2, 50%; Hankin 4/7, 57%. Team 42/51, 82%.