Surrey Storm completed an emphatic London Live victory at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday evening, defeating rivals Hertfordshire Mavericks 67-45 at the Copper Box Arena.
The Vitality Netball Superleague season’s showpiece fixture also saw the hosts maintain their unbeaten start to their 2017 campaign, making it four wins out of four to keep their spot at the top of the table.
Despite the impressive score line Player of the Match Mikki Austin said that “consistency across all 4 quarters was key in the win” and that “the contest was tight and physical throughout.”
Director of Netball Tania Hoffman made two changes to the line-up which defeated Team Northumbria a week previous, bringing Naida Hutchinson into the fold to face up against her old side at GK and Georgia Lees back in at WA.
Storm ran out lively in the opening exchanges, quickly building a 7-2 lead after just a few minutes gone thanks to some comfortable attacking plays into Megan Craig and Katie Harris. Hutchinson didn’t need long to settle into the starting 7 with a number of interceptions in Q1, allowing Storm to open with a 15-11 lead at the first break.
Mavericks looked like they were keen to quickly turn the tables in Q2, with two straight goals from the off. The Storm defensive pairing of Katy Holland and Captain Hutchinson continued to keep the Mavericks attack under firm pressure, but they continued to keep the gap at just 2 goals. Scarlett Williams came into her own at WD late on in the period, allowing her shooters to reextend the lead to 31-23 at half time.
It was from here that Storm really pushed their opponents hard. The lead was quickly into double figures thanks to consistent defensive pressure from Holland, with Craig and Harris putting balls away in effortless fashion at the opposite end. Sutherland arrived on court mid-way into the quarter to replace Williams, but by that point Storm had pushed their lead to 13 with Mavericks looking like they had no response to stop the goals flowing in. Q3 ended 52-34 to Storm – a 21-11 quarter for the hosts.
Yas Parsons hit the court at WA to kick off Q4, but it took around a minute and a half for either team to sink a goal until Craig was there to again extend the lead. Mavericks were able to make the most of the odd sloppy ball from Storm but it wasn’t enough to prevent Storm from stealing back the London Live crown and taking a dominating 67-45 win in the capital and keeping their spot at the top of the Superleague table.
Storm will take full confidence from the win into their round 5 game at Team Bath in just over a week’s time (Monday 20th February).
Scroll down below to hear post-match interviews with Mikki Austin, Georgia Lees and Frankie Wells after the London Live win (thanks to Andy Lamb Media).
Player of the Match: Mikki Austin
Storm starting 7:
GK – Hutchinson
GD – Holland
WD – Williams
C – Austin
WA – Lees
GA – Harris
GS – Craig
Changes: Sutherland to WD (Q3), Parsons to WA, Wells to GS, Kowalewska to GK (all Q4)
Mavericks starting 7:
GK – Artman
GD – Keable
WD – Everitt
C – Morgan-Smith
WA – Grant
GA – Hankin
GS – Joseph
Changes: Neal to GS (Q2), Drayne to WD, Drakeford Lewis to GS, Neal to GA (Q3), Adio to GD, Quashie to GK (both Q4)
Storm shooting stats:
Craig – 43/47,
Harris – 19/20,
Wells – 5/7,
Team – 67/74
Mavericks shooting stats:
Hankin – 23/34,
Drakeford-Lewis – 11/15,
Joseph – 6/8,
Neal – 5/6,
Team – 45/63
Hutchinson – 4 intercepts, 6 rebounds
Holland – 3 intercepts, 3 rebounds
Austin, Williams – 2 intercepts
Harris, Parsons, Sutherland – 1 intercept
Craig – 2 rebounds
Kowalewska – 1 rebound
Artman – 3 intercepts, 2 rebounds
Keable – 2 intercepts, 1 rebound
Adio, Drayne, Everitt, Grant, Morgan-Smith – 1 intercept
Joseph, Neal, Quashie – 1 rebound