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April 12, 2017 by Surrey Storm

Report: Sirens steal win in Glasgow

Surrey Storm stumbled to their second straight defeat in round 8 of the 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague season, losing 65-59 to a strong Sirens side in Glasgow.

Saturday’s clash saw Storm across the border for the first time to meet the Sirens who have had an inconsistent start to their first season in the Superleague. The hosts, with home advantage, had taken an impressive win against the promising Bath line up the week previous while Surrey were looking to consolidate after their first loss of the season to Wasps.
Sirens started with an unchanged line up from the Bath game and Storm making one change with Yaz Parsons starting at centre, forcing Mikki Austin to take a place on the bench.
The first quarter started as expected with the sides trading goals and settling into their work but it was Sirens who forced the early break through defensive pressure and lead 6-4 after just 4 minutes. The full court pressure and energy of the Sirens defensive effort lead to further turnovers and the Storm shooting circle looking tentative in front of goal for the early exchanges.
With 5 minutes remaining Sirens had increased their lead to 13-8. At the other end the experienced Borrego and Halpenny created space and time for each other with some fluent triangle passing and finished their work with accurate shooting. The final 2 minutes of the quarter was dominated by Storm who created turnovers with their own pressure across the court and by treasuring the possession converted their chances and closed the gap to just a solitary goal with Megan Craig scoring just before the break (17-16).
No changes for the second quarter and after early goals at both ends to settle a Storm error lead to a break for the Sirens which they converted and built on by securing the next goal off their own possession. This trend continued during the quarter with the Sirens taking their opportunities and building confidence as their defence provided ball to their assured shooting circle and the damage was done. By the time the Storm reacted and held their own share of possession to see out the quarter the lead had grown to 6 as time was called (36-30). 

Changes to the Storm at half time saw Austin on at C and Dixon to GA replacing Parsons and Harris respectively. Both players made an early impact with improved feeding to Craig and speed around the court changing the Sirens defensive pattern but a missed Storm goal earned the Sirens the first break. At this point the Storm defense lifted a notch and with greater accuracy into the shooting end they finally built some pressure on the Sirens lineup to claw back at the lead.

More ball provided the Storm an 8 goal to 3 run which could have changed the match had they converted more of the 23 opportunities at goal this period.  However the Sirens continued to force errors and as the third quarter closed out with the score at 49-46 both teams still had all to play for in the final 15 minutes.

From the outset both teams hunted for chances to secure possession and made gains to keep the opposition on edge but it was the Sirens with the crowd cheering on every pass that made the decisive and telling breaks. A 5-goal run in the middle stages of this quarter took the game out of reach for the strong finishing Storm. The Sirens prevailed 65-59 and deserved their win for their determined defensive pressure and a 89% shooting percentage from their attacking end. Storm will have plenty to work on this week as despite making 21 interceptions for the game only converted 13 of these. The Storm accuracy at goal this week was not at the standard they have set so far this season and as a result with two more attempts on goal than Sirens for the match they could not convert their chances to overcome the improving Scottish franchise. 

Storm are back on the road this weekend with a clash at rivals Manchester Thunder on Saturday (5pm), before returning to Surrey Sports Park on Easter Monday to host Team Northumbria (3pm).

Storm starting line-up:
GS – Craig
GA – Harris
WA –  Lees
C – Parsons
WD – Sutherland
GD – Holland
GK – Hutchinson
Storm changes: Austin to C, Dixton to GA.

Sirens starting line-up:
GS – Borrego
GA – Halpenny
WA – McCleery
C – O’Hanlon
WD – Brownie
GD – Nicholl
GK – Pinnock

Storm shooting stats:
Craig – 41/53 77%
Harris – 9/11 82%
Dixon – 9/11 82%
Team – 59/75 79%

Sirens shooting stats:
Borrego – 44/50 88%
Halpenny – 21/23 91%
Team – 65/73 89%

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