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May 1, 2016 by Surrey Storm

Report: Storm steal Semi Victory

Surrey Storm Netball took a narrow two goal victory at Surrey Sports Park on Saturday evening, defeating Hertfordshire Mavericks 53-51 to book their spot at next weekend’s Vitality Netball Superleague Grand Final.

The visitors held the advantage for most of the exciting tie, only for Storm to steal the win with a focused 4th quarter performance – one that we have become use to seeing from Coach Kathryn Ratnapala’s side this season.

Storm started off the game in good form, taking a two goal lead in as many minutes. Mavericks hit back instantly but both defences were looking lively with interceptions at either end. The visitors looked the most confortable in possession, giving them an 11-13 lead after the opening quarter.

Mavericks flew out of the blocks at the start of Q2, quickly extending their lead to seven with six unanswered goals. Storm needed to switch on to prevent the advantage from getting any bigger, and they did exactly that with Hannah Reid closing Sammy Wallace down to kick start a goal run. Rachel Dunn scored to bring the scores level at 20-all, but it wasn’t enough to stop Mavericks breaking back and keeping their two goal lead at half time (24-26).

Pamela Cookey and Dunn continued their almost flawless shooting in Q3, having only missed a single shot between them in the first half, which allowed Storm to retake the at 31-30. Katt Ainsworth and Josie Huckle arrived on court for the period and had an immediate impact, aggressively shutting down the Mavericks attack to keep the visitors in check and give their side a single goal lead ahead of the all-important final quarter (40-39).

Huckle picked out a sloppy pass early on the in quarter to increase Storm’s advantage to two goals, but again Mavericks here there to level at 46-all. Storm continued to edge ahead and make the most of an evidently nervy Hertfordshire side, but the visitors’ fighting spirit was still in tact and in full use to keep bringing the scores level.

With 1 minute left on the clock, a 51-all score line had everyone in the arena talking about the potential extra time period on the way. Dunn took a high pressure goal well before Reid flew in to steal a ball at the defensive end and create a game winning chance for the in-form shooter, who scored to secure Storm’s third Superleague Grand Final appearance in as many seasons and a chance to retain their title.

An incredible performance from both teams in a game that will go down as a classic in front of the most passionate fans in the Superleague.

Tickets for next Saturday’s Grand Final (7th May, 5pm) at the Copper Box Arena sold out this within a few minutes of the end of today’s play, but fear not as Sky Sports will have live coverage plus the usual live updates on Facebook and Twitter.

BRD Events Player of the Match: Hannah Reid

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

Mavericks starting 7:
GS – Wallace
GA – Clark
WA – Hankin
C – Carter
WD – May
GA – Guscoth
GK – Keable

Storm shooting stats:
Dunn 35/36 97%
Cookey 18/21 86%
Team 53-57 76%

Mavericks shooting stats:
Wallace 41/46 89%
Clark 10/13 77%

Quarter scores:
Q1: 11-13
Q2: 13-13 (24-26)
Q3: 16-13 (40-39)
Q4: 13-12 (53-51) 

#StormFamily ? #soldout #semifinal #love #netball @NetballSL @SkyNetball

— Surrey Storm (@SurreyStorm) April 30, 2016


STORM WIN!!! GRAND FINAL HERE WE COME!!! Final scored 53-51 #LetsGoStorm @SkyNetball @NetballSL ??

— Surrey Storm (@SurreyStorm) April 30, 2016


And to the best supporters, thank you for getting behind us tonight & believing in us! We heard you @SurreyStorm ???

— Sophia Candappa (@sophiacandappa) April 30, 2016


What a semi final tonight @SurreyStorm v @HertsMavericks @NetballSL @England_Netball @SurreyAdSpills @SkyNetball

— Steve Porter (@6908jet) April 30, 2016


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