Surrey Storm Netball continued their incredible run of form in the 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague season on Monday evening with a 46-52 win at Team Bath.
One of the most physical battles seen so far this season ended with the visitors taking the spoils and maintaining their unbeaten start to the season, regaining top spot in the Superleague table in the process.
Full of confidence from that thrilling London Live win just over a week previous, Head Coach Tania Hoffman opted to make just one change to her starting 7 by bringing Scottish international Bethany Sutherland into the fold at WD which had an almost immediate impact. Storm started the tie the strongest, building an early 3 goal cushion as the hosts took time to get their heads into the game.
Bath picked up their game midway into the quarter, tieing the scores level at 10-all as Storm made a few errors in the attacking third, but were unable to prevent Surrey from holding a single goal lead at 11-12 at the first break.
Storm opened the second quarter with an immediate turnover to restore the pressure on their hosts. A goal for goal period followed before Bath briefly re-tied the game at 16-all. It was at this point that Storm really put on a show. Pressure from Naida Hutchinson and Katy Holland forced a string of errors in the Bath attack, which was matched at the opposite end with flawless shooting from Megan Craig and Katie Harris. An 8-goal streak allowed Surrey to break away and build a 21-29 lead at half time.
The momentum continued in Storm’s favour early in the 3rd quarter, with Holland and Georgia Lees picking up interceptions to push the lead to 12 goals. But the tables turned. It was Bath’s turn to take control of the game and go on an 11-3 goal run to bring Storm’s lead down to just 3. Scarlett Williams arrived at WD to add some fresh legs to the defence which seemed to put a stop to Bath’s attacking run, and Surrey were able to restore a 37-42 lead heading into the final quarter.
Bath opened with 2 early goals in Q4 to maintain the pressure on Storm. Hutchinson pulled out a vital interception to swing the momentum back the duck egg blue way, but still the lead was too slender for Surrey to relax. Yas Parsons came on at WD to rest Lees and from there on it was Storm who took back control and stayed focused for a 46-52 win to push them back to the top of the Superleague table with 5 wins from 5 outings.
Round 6 follows with a home game against winless Celtic Dragons this Saturday evening (7pm), followed by a round 7 thriller against Wasps at Surrey Sports Park a week later (7pm).
Storm starting 7:
Changes: Williams to WD (Q3), Parsons to WA (Q4)
Bath starting 7:
Stats to follow