A strong defensive performance saw Surrey Storm take their first win of the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season on Friday evening with a 57-35 victory over Team Northumbria.
Storm looked comfortable from the first centre-pass in front of the sold-out home crowd, with BRD Events Player of the Match Hannah Reid producing steal after steal in the defensive end to help her side towards the win.
Coach Kathryn Ratnapala named one change in her side compared to last Saturday’s starting 7, with Katt Ainsworth replacing Amy Flanagan at WD.
A strong opening from the hosts saw them quickly take a 4-0 lead from the opening centre-pass. Team Northumbria composed themselves before letting Storm take a too bigger advantage, but the attacking trio of Rachel Dunn, Pamela Cookey and Georgia Lees were in full flow to provide goal after goal, handing Storm a 15-10 advantage at the first break.
Northumbria looked like they may start the 2nd quarter the strongest with a quick steal in defence, before reducing their deficit down to 3 goals, but the first of many Reid turnovers saw Storm extend their lead to 27-20 at the half time break.
Flanagan switched with Ainsworth at WD to being Q3 and immediately made an impact, flying in to intercept a sloppy Northumbria pass which Dunn was able to finish under the goal. Yet more solid defensive work followed as Flanagan and Reid paired to create another chance for Dunn, which she finished with a long bomb to hand Storm a 44-28 lead with one quarter remaining.
With visions of last Saturday’s stumble on the minds of nervous fans, a confident final quarter performance was required to bag the points. Yasmin Parsons made her home debut at WA, while Josie Huckle came on at GK, but strong performance continued with an immediate turnover for Storm. Huckle took a big steal in the defensive end which was fed through the court for a superb team goal at 51-30.
Northumbria centre Nicole Dixon was forced to sit out for 2 minutes midway through the quarter for persistent fouling, which Storm took full advantage of, before the hosts closed out the fixture to secure their first home of the season with a strong 57-35 victory.
Pamela Cookey finished the game with a 100% shooting record, with Storm closing out Northumbria’s attackers to just 43 attempts on goal.
The opening fixture of the evening saw Surrey Storm NPL also take their first win of the season, with a solid 52-21 victory over Team South Tigers.
Surrey Storm return to Surrey Sports Park next Saturday to host Yorkshire Jets in round 3 of the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
BRD Events Player of the Match: Hannah Reid
Storm starting 7:
Changes- Flanagan to WD (Q3), Huckle to GK (Q4), Parsons to WA (Q4)
Northumbria starting 7:
Changes- Hollingsworth to GD (Q4), Kennedy to WD (Q4), Sole to GS (Q4)
Dunn- 34/45, 76%
Cookey- 23/23, 100&
Total- 57/68, 84%
Armitage- 16/21, 76%
Beckford- 16/19, 84%
Sole- 3/3, 100%
Total- 35/43, 81%
Q2- 27-20 (12-10)
Q3- 44-28 (17-8)
Q4- 57-35 (13-7)