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February 20, 2017 by Surrey Storm

Report: Storm crush Stars in perfect opener

Reigning Vitality Netball Superleague champions Surrey Storm got their 2017 season off to the perfect start with a punishing 58-40 win over new side Severn Stars at Surrey Sports Park.

A nervy start from both sides was quickly overturned, as the new look host side grew in confidence throughout the tie and took a cruising opening weekend victory.

Right from the off Stars applied the pressure in the mid court but the arms up defence of every player on court didn’t make their life easy. The defensive circle was alive with activity with all sorts of skills being showcased, one shocking skill came from Stars shooter Noel who performed a perfect split right in the middle of the circle and got back up again like nothing had happened! Some loopy and long balls that just needed to be tweaked slightly sometimes gave Stars possession but Storm kept their nerve to hold the game to one point. End of quarter one: 10-11 to Severn Stars.

After a bit of a nervous and shaky start the unchanged Storm side came out with fire and determination and soon got into the swing of things. Austin and Holland’s pressure on Stars attack, particularly in the defensive third, ensured that the turnovers were coming thick and fast and before you could say “defending champions” Storm were leading. Every Stars possession was pressured and soon the multiple errors made by Stars attack saw Storm win the second quarter 20 goals to 9 and end the half 30-20 to Storm.

Some brilliant interceptions being made all over the court, especially by Kowalewska and Holland with excellent support from Austin and Lees.

Third quarter saw Williams replace Sutherland at WD and the second half started with Stars being just as tough but this time a more confident looking Storm made their life difficult. Austin’s impressive presence on court shut the C down and forced weak balls into the circle ready for Holland to pick up and convert to goal. The changes Stars made at half time challenged Storm and they went into the final quarter leading 43-33 with a draw in that quarter.

Only 10 goals in it for quarter four meant that Storm couldn’t afford to switch off just yet. The high and fast feeds from Harris, Parsons and Austin into Craig took the crowds breath away and there was simply nothing that Stars defence could do to stop that strong ball in. Harris was taking tough shots but making them look easy much to the crowds’ delight and the masterful switching between Holland and Kowalewska made the Stars shooters work extra hard for those goals. Stars never gave up and special mention should go to Darroch for her persistence and excellent ball handling on court. After a thrilling opening match, Surrey Storm won the game 58-40 showing that this season was business as usual and a great start to getting that third title.

POM went to Katy Holland for her pressure in the whole defensive third and her ability to intercept and convert possession with ease.

When Tania Hoffman, Director of Netball at Surrey Storm was asked about what she’ll bring to the rest of the season she said that it was a “long, long season” and that they all going to “keep doing the work and go back to business on Tuesday”.

Storm’s next game is against last season’s runner up Manchester Thunder in the highly anticipated Super Ten competition in Birmingham this Saturday (25th), which you can watch live on Sky Sports Mix from 6pm.

Player of the Match: Katy Holland

Surrey Storm starting 7:
GS Megan Craig
GA Katie Harris
WA Georgia Lees
C Mikki Austin
WD Bethany Sutherland
GD Katy Holland
GK Lorraine Kowalewska
Changes for Storm: Scarlett Williams to WD, Yaz Parsons to WA
Severn Stars starting 7:
GS Afeisha Noel
GA Eleanor Cardwell
WA Iona Darroch
C Sophie Carter
WD Rebecca Oatley
GD Jodie Gibson
GK Josephine Jans-Dawson
Changes for Stars: Cardwell to GS, Yasmin Hodge-England to GA, Rachel Sweet and Oatley to GD, Jans-Dawson to GK, Lauren Brooks to WD
Storm Shooting Stats:
Craig: 36/48, 75%
Harris: 22/26, 85%
Team: 58/74, 78%

Stars Shooting Stats:
Cardwell: 33/39, 85%
Hodge-England: 6/10, 60%
Noel: 1/1, 100%
Team: 40/60, 67%

Storm Defensive Stats:
Craig: 7 rebounds
Harris: 1 intercept, 2 rebounds
Holland: 2 intercepts
Kowalewska: 1 intercept, 1 rebound
Lees: 1 intercept
Sutherland: 2 intercepts
Williams: 3 intercepts
Team: 10 intercepts, 10 rebounds

Stars Defensive Stats:
Cardwell: 1 intercept
Darroch: 1 intercept
Gibson: 1 rebound
Hodge-England: 2 rebounds
Janz-Danson: 6 intercepts, 5 rebounds
Noel: 1 rebound
Oatley: 2 intercepts

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