Surrey Storm’s Netball Performance League (NPL) side continued their quest for domination in the 2016 season on Saturday evening, with a comprehensive victory over a competitive Yorkshire Jets team at Surrey Sports Park.
A good crowd returned to Guildford for the second game of the season, with the NSL team also turning out in force to support the young Storm side, before the seniors were made to work hard for a similar result in their game later that evening.
Storm NPL started well but were certainly going to be challenged by Yorkshire Jets, who boasted strength in all areas of the court. A consistently hard work rate supported by great work by the team in attack, centre court and defence saw the hosts 17-8 up at the end of quarter 1.
With the team showing promise but needing to settle, Coaches Tallisa Haynes and Jane Jewell opted not to make any changes and this proved to be a good decision. Rhea Dixon created numerous opportunities in attack and her playmaking gave Olivia Leach repeated opportunity to control the circle. Storm edged further ahead and more than deserved to have extended their lead to 14 as the Half-Time whistle went.
The third quarter saw a change as Leah Goss was brought on at centre for Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and the fresh legs and new style of play worked to great effect for Storm. Jets were able to pull a few goals back after some silly errors slipped into the home side’s play, however Storm reset quickly and ended the third period of play with an 18 goal lead, which looked likely to be increased in the last fifteen minutes. Razia Quashie and Fran Williams switched positions in the last quarter, and Paige McCalla was introduced at GS as Olivia moved to GA when Rhea was given a rest period.
The changes initially allowed Jets back into the game and they scored three without reply before Storm adapted to their new formation and again took charge of the court. The last fifteen minutes progressed without much concern and the Guildford side increased their lead to 24 goals as the final whistle went.
A superb team performance by Surrey Storm NPL, with the girls demonstrating real improvement since last week. Scoring 57 goals against such strong opposition was no mean feat and the girls showed focus, commitment and style again during much of play. Olivia Leach earned the Coaches’ Player award after a superb performance and 96% accuracy in shooting; Leah Goss deservedly won the Players’ vote after strong work at C.
Surrey Storm NPL travel to Loughborough Lightning in their next match on Saturday 27 February (4pm centre-pass), before the NSL sides take to the same court that evening.
Storm starting 7:
WA- Gulvin (Captain)
Changes: Goss to C (Q3), Quashie to GD (Q4), Williams to GK (Q4), McCalla to GS (Q4), Leach to GA (Q4)
Q2 30-16 (13-8)
Q3 43-25 (13-9)
Q4 57-33 (14-8)