Surrey Storm Netball took a huge leap towards a home 2015 Superleague semi-final on Saturday night with a 74-45 win over Loughborough Lightning at Surrey Sports Park.
The final regular league match to take place at home this season saw the hosts dominate from start to finish, creating almost double the number of chances on goal compared to that of their opponents.
Coach Greenway named an unchanged starting 7 compared to the one seen in Cardiff 7 days previous, and it was the experienced side who opened the meeting in emphatic style. Within 7 minutes of the start of the match Storm found themselves 10 points up without reply thanks to a number of contact calls in the attacking third. A tactical injury time-out called by Lightning injected some life into their play, but their physicality wasn’t enough to hold back Surrey who held a 19-8 lead at the first break.
Bongiwe Msomi opened Q2 with a fine interception to continue the scoring momentum, as the nimble, speedy South African charged in with an interception to feed into Rachel Dunn to score. The closing minute of the quarter saw much of the same style of play, as Storm picked up two straight turnovers to rub salt into the wounds of a sorry looking Loughborough side. Another 20 goals on the scoreboard handed Surrey at 39-20 half time lead.
Sensing that the game was all but won, Coach Greenway introduced Josie Huckle and Amy Flanagan onto the court. Goal for goal play followed as the changes took time to gel, until Msomi once again broke down the Lightning attack to allow an early turnover. Shaken, Lightning continued to make errors across the court, which Storm capitalised on with a second 20 goal quarter, leading 59-32 after Q3.
With one eye on the possibility of a season high score, Storm freshened up the attack with the introduction of Katie Harris at GA and Georgia Lees at WA, joining Becky Gentle at GD. A much closer affair following, with both sides scoring 10 a piece until 2 minutes from the final whistle when Storm finally managed a turnover to end the deadlock. The hosts closed out the game with confidence, with a 74-45 win taking them one step closer towards a home Superleague semi-final.
The Easter weekend double-header concludes on Monday when Storm head to Hatfield for a 2pm centre-pass against Netball London Live rivals Hertfordshire Mavericks.
Player of the match: Pamela Cookey
Surrey Storm starting 7:
Subs: Lees, Gentle, Huckle, Harrism Flanagan
Changes: Huckle to GD (Q3), Reid to GD (Q3), Flanagan to WD (Q3), Lees to WA (Q4), Ainsworth to C (Q4), Harris to GA (Q4), Flanagan to WD (Q4)
Loughborough Lightning starting 7:
Subs- Cooper, Desmond, Edwards, Massey, Walker
Changes- Henry to WA (Q1), Joseph to C (Q1), Cooper to WD (Q2), Walker to GA (Q2), Forbes to WD (Q3), Massey to GD (Q3), Desmond to C (Q3), Walker to GA (Q3), Edwards to GA (Q4), Joseph to WA (Q4), Steadman to WD (Q4)
Storm: Dunn 46/56, 82%; Cookey 23/26, 92%; Harris 5/6 83%. Team 74/88, 82%.
Lightning: Proscovia 40/43, 93%; Holthausen 1/1, 100%; Walker 2/2, 100%; Edwards 2/2, 100%. Team 45/48, 93%.