Surrey Storm’s NPL side regained their position at the top of the NPL table after a convincing win over fourth placed West Midlands Warriors last weekend in Bromsgrove.
With five wins from five this season so far, a further win against this week’s opponents would mean Storm were tied on points with their biggest rivals Manchester Thunder, thus Storm knew that a preferential goal average from the match was required to ensure they finished the day as league leaders. With clear expectations set by the Coaches for the match against the in-form West Midlands outfit, the team were determined to bring their best game and also demonstrate consistency across four quarters.
The first fifteen minutes went well, despite some shaky nerves and Storm took control right away, despite strong opposition from Warriors who were providing a feisty and quite physical game at times. With the score 14-8 in Storm’s favour as the first break arrived, examples of good play were reinforced and team targets were revisited. The team remained unchanged into quarter two, knowing it was important that a stronger lead was developed. The young side did not disappoint, stepping up their performance to lead 29-10 at half-time, putting them on track to achieve the full-time score of which they were more than capable.
Coaches Tallisa Haynes and Louise Hall opted to introduce Drakeford-Lewis to the court for the third quarter, and with Goss also being asked to change positions, there was much positive impact and Storm looked revitalised. Fifteen minutes flew by and a further consistent quarter saw the young Surrey side score an average one goal per minute and restrict the opposition to half of this figure.
With a strong 44-18 lead and just the last quarter to play, the Coaches decided to focus on both keeping the performance consistent and aiming to achieve a goal average that would ensure we were top of the table that evening. As a result, no changes were made and the team were set the task of reaching at least 60 goals and restricting Warriors to 25 maximum; this meant the place at the top of the league table would be guaranteed and also the goal had the added effect of creating additional pressure for Storm, which they needed to be able to respond to. The team more than rose to the challenge, producing their highest scoring quarter in the match and forcing Warriors to their second lowest quarter.
A superb team effort from Surrey’s youth side with huge strides made in consistency and performance that meant a very well deserved win of 62-25 over one of our strongest opponents to date. The girls showed what they were capable of, taking on challenges and consistently forcing errors in their opponents. Having played two thirds of the season’s matches now, Surrey Storm NPL now go into their final 3 games determined to claim the NPL league title for the first time. Well done to Fran Williams, selected as tonight’s Coaches’ Player after a brilliant performance at GD for the whole match.
Surrey Storm travel away to play Celtic Dragons in their next match at 1pm on Saturday 9 April and will be looking for their seventh consecutive win this season.
Storm starting 7:
GK – Quashie
GD – Williams
WD – Housley
C – Goss
WA – Gulvin (Captain)
GA – Leach
GS – McCalla
Changes: Drakeford-Lewis to C, Goss to WD, Housley to bench (Q3)
Q1 – 14-8 (14-8)
Q2 – 29-10 (15-2)
Q3 – 44-18 (15-8)
Q4 – 62-25 (18-7)