Surrey Storm’s Netball Performance League (NPL) side kicked off their 2016 season on Friday evening with a confident victory over Team South Tigers at Surrey Sports Park.
Over 100 netball fans hit the Sports Park for the curtain-raiser, including their senior counterparts who also recorded a win against Team Northumbria later that night.
Storm took control early on, despite a mix of excitement and nerves in the squad following a long pre-season period, scoring the first two goals before Team South Tigers got on the score sheet. A quick succession of goals saw Storm 12-5 up very early on before taking a 16-8 lead at the end of Q1, thanks to some strong shooting from Rhea Dixon and Olivia Leach.
Leah Goss hit the court to start Q2 in the centre court in place of Sophie Drakeford-Lewis as Storm continued their domination. Tigers attempted to pressurize across the court, which did see the hosts commit a handful of errors, but a quick refocused ensured that Surrey held a 14-2 lead at the half time whistle thanks to an 11-4 quarter.
Goss switched with captain Emily Gulvin in the mid-court to kick off the 2nd half, which saw neither side bag a goal until 4 minutes into the quarter. Dixon was still shooting confidently, taking multiple rebounds against the Team South defense, until she was forced to sit out for the remainder of the game due to an injury. Storm ended the quarter with a run of 7 goals, giving them an unassailable 36-14 lead heading into the final period.
Phoebe Cadogan was brought on to close out the game at WA, with Razia Quashie and Francesca Williams switching defensive roles as Coach Tallisa Haynes opted to try out different combinations on court. Tigers stepped up their performance for the final quarter, but in true Storm style the hosts more than doubles their opponent’s efforts to close out a comprehensive 52-21 victory.
Ally Housley earned the Player of the Match award thanks to a tenacious and determined performance at WD in a performance that was far from flawless, but saw 100% effort from the young side and plenty to work on in training this week.
Surrey Storm NPL return to Surrey Sports Park this Saturday afternoon when they host Yorkshire Jets in a 4.30pm centre-pass, before the same two sides face off in the Vitality Netball Superleague at 7pm.
Fans can watch all home NPL games for FREE this season, with no need to purchase tickets. Doors for Saturday’s game open at 3.30pm.
Storm starting 7:
WA- Gulvin (captain)
Q1 16-8 (16-8)
Q2 27-12 (11-4)
Q3 36-14 (9-2)
Q4 52-21 (16-7)