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April 17, 2016 by Surrey Storm

Report: Storm no match for Thunder in Sports Park Showdown

Surrey Storm were unable to repeat their round 6 exploits on Saturday night as they fell to a 56-64 defeat to table toppers Manchester Thunder at Surrey Sports Park.

The top four tie was far from a classic, but still held importance as both sides look to secure home games for the upcoming Vitality Netball Superleague semi-finals.

A tight opening quarter saw both sides creep ahead but unable to maintain their advantage, before Thunder gained momentum during the closing exchanges to take an 11-14 lead into the first break.

Amy Flanagan flew into the second period with an interception to allow the hosts to re-level the scores at 15-all, before Georgia Lees picked off an steal of her own to allow Pamela Cookey to hand Storm the lead. But once again Thunder ended the quarter the strongest, and doubled their lead to 6 at half time (26-32).

Coach Kathryn Ratnapala rung in the changes at half time, only leaving Cookey and Dunn left in their starting positions. Josie Huckle resumed her role at GK, pushing Hannah Reid to GD, while Katt Ainsworth came on at WD to move Flanagan to C and Sophia Candappa to WA.

The changes were immediately impactful, as Huckle brought her own brand of defensive pressure to the court to create a turnover. Thunder responded with one of their own though and again increased their lead in Q3, holding a 41-50 advantage ahead of the vital final period.

Ainsworth took an early steal to give fans some hope of a comeback, but Manchester just kept on pushing and pushing across the court. Trailing by 8 with just 2 minutes left the visitors just needed to close out the victory, which they did with style to regain their spot at the top of the Superleague table.

With Team Bath defeating Hertfordshire Mavericks, Storm can still secure a home semi-final starting with a win over their Netball London Live rivals at the Hertfordshire Sports Village next Saturday.

Earlier in the day Surrey Storm NPL fell to a single goal loss to Manchester Thunder NPL, handing them the title winning advantage ahead of the final round of action next weekend.

BRD Events Player of the Match: Pamela Cookey

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

Changes for Storm: Huckle to GK, Reid to GD, Ainsworth to WD, Flanagan to C, Candappa to WA (all Q3)

Manchester Thunder starting 7:
GK – Kelly
GD – Gibson
WD – Malcolm
C – Bayman
WA – Haythornthwaite
GA – Housby
GS – Cardwell

Changes for Thunder: Dovey to GD (Q1), Almond to GK (Q4)

Storm shooting stats:
Dunn – 28/30, 93%
Cookey – 28/29, 97%
Team – 56/59, 95%

Thunder shooting stats:
Cardwell – 41/43, 95%
Housby – 23/27, 85%
Team – 64/70, 91%

Quarter scores:
Q1 – 11-14
Q2 – 15-18 (26-32)
Q3 – 15-18 (41-50)
Q4 – 15-14 (56-54)

Big leap from @rach_dunn to keep the attack going. She scores, Storm turnover & it's a 1 goal game! 25-26 #StormLive

— Surrey Storm (@SurreyStorm) April 16, 2016


Early interception from @Kattstorm! @rach_dunn scores 44-51 #StormLive

— Surrey Storm (@SurreyStorm) April 16, 2016


That could be big! @josiehuckle steals with her finger tips and the lead is down to 7! 53-60 #StormLive

— Surrey Storm (@SurreyStorm) April 16, 2016


@SurreyStorm v @thundernetball #StovThu @NetballSL @England_Netball @SkyNetball @SurreyAdSpills @MENnewsdesk

— Steve Porter (@6908jet) April 16, 2016

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