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February 29, 2016 by Surrey Storm

Report: Storm take second Superleague defeat

Surrey Storm were on the wrong side of a single goal defeat on Saturday evening as they fell 55-54 at Loughborough Lightning in round 5 of the 2016 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

A nail-bitingly close encounter had fans on the edge of their seats throughout the encounter, as 5th place Lightning closed the gap on Storm thanks to the win.

Storm opened the scoring from the first centre pass but it didn’t take long for Loughborough to stamp their authority on the game, scoring a brace from an interception to lead 4-2. A goal-for-goal period followed until the whistle to mark the end of the quarter, with the hosts leading 14-13.

Lightning quickly added pressure on Storm with a 4-goal lead in the opening exchanges as they continued to take their chances on goal more effectively than the visitors. Pamela Cookey and Rachel Dunn netted consecutive goals late on in the quarter but it was Loughborough who extend their lead to 30-27 at the half time break.

With little to call between the two sides both coaches knew it would be down to single opportunities created and finished off that would be the difference. With this in mind, the Storm offence appeared rejuvenated and up for the challenge. A gritty quarter turned into a successful one for Surrey, as they took advantage of their extra opportunities on goal to chip away at the hosts lead (42-40).

Coach Kathryn Ratnapala looked to freshen up her side heading into the final quarter, with Mikki Austin (C), Amy Flanagan (WD) and Josie Huckle (GK) hitting the court. And it looked like these changes would have proved pivotal, as within the opening 2 minutes Storm had taken the lead at 42-43. Jade Clarke and Kadeen Corbin quickly corrected this though and the scores were level at 46-all with 10 minutes to go.

Despite their hard work to pull the deficit back, some superb defensive work from Loughborough GD Ama Agbeze proved the difference as her side edged it by a single goal to take the win 55-54. A tough result for Storm to swallow, on a day when both sides matched one and other across the court.

Surrey Storm will have to quickly shift their attentions to Monday night’s round 6 clash against unbeaten Manchester Thunder, which is live on Sky Sports 2 from 7.30pm.

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

Changes for Storm: Austin to C, Flanagan to WD, Huckle to GK, Reid to GD (all Q4)

Lightning starting 7:
GK – Trip
GD – Agbeze
WD – Nicholls
C – Clarke
WA – Joseph
GA – Walker
GS – Proscovia

Changes for Lightning: Corbin to GA (Q3), Panagarry to WA (Q4)

Storm shooting stats:
Dunn – 33/38, 87%
Cookey – 21/24, 87%
Team – 54/62, 87%

Lightning shooting stats:
Proscovia – 37/40, 92%
Walker – 7/7, 100%
Corbin – 11/12, 92%
Team – 55/59, 93%

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