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April 12, 2016 by Surrey Storm

Report: Storm book semi with Dragons victory

Surrey Storm have booked their spot in the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague semi-finals with a 53-68 win over Celtic Dragons in Cardiff.

The win sees the duck egg blue army secure their 6th consecutive semi-final, also meaning they will feature at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday 7th May for either the Grand Final or 3rd place play off.

The hop across the English-Welsh border started as a close affair, with both teams shooting well in the opening quarter. Storm held a 3 goal lead towards the first break, but could only manage a single goal lead (16-17) as the hosts asserted pressure late on.

This reminder was all too present early in the 2nd quarter too, as Dragons briefly took a 2 goal lead thanks to a 7-3 run. It didn’t take Storm long to overturn this deficit though, and it was Surrey who took the 3 goal lead into half time (29-32).

Not wanting a repeat of the previous quarter, it was Storm’s turn to cruise on in the 3rd period. With the defence well and truly warmed up, Dragons were kept down to just 11 goals compared to the 21 put on the board by the visitors, with Pamela Cookey and Rachel Dunn in full flow to push Dragons back by 13 goals at the end of the quarter (40-53).

The lead looked comfortable for Storm heading into Q4, but Dragons were not giving up. The lead was down to 10 goals early in the period as personnel changes took time to settle in, but this was quickly corrected and Storm pushed on for the vital win.

Earlier in the day Storm’s NPL side also secured a victory over the Dragons, with a huge 24-72 win seeing them stay top of the table ahead of Thunder.

All eyes will be on Saturday’s mouth-watering clash between Storm and Manchester Thunder at Surrey Sports Park, with another win required from the hosts as they now look to book a home semi-final against either Thunder, Hertfordshire Mavericks or Team Bath.

Storm NPL will also hit the court against Thunder on Saturday, with a 4.30pm centre-pass at Surrey Sports Park. Entry to that game is free with no tickets required.

Storm starting 7:
GK – Reid
GD – Holland
WD – Ainsworth
C – Candappa
WA – Lees
GA –  Cookey
GS – Dunn

Dragons starting 7:
GK – Kahatoka
GD – Morgan
WD – Oatley
C – Jones
WA – Dyke
GA – Rusivakula
GS – Rowe

Storm shooting stats:
Dunn 38/42, 90%
Cookey 28/31, 90%
Hayes 2/4, 50%
Team 63/76, 83%

Dragons shooting stats:
Rowe 22/24, 92%
Rusivakula 27/36, 75%
Thomas 4/5, 80%
Team 53/67, 79%

Quarter scores:
Q1 – 16-17
Q2 – 13-15 (29-32)
Q3 – 11-21 (40-53)
Q4 – 13-15 (53-68)

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