Surrey Storm continued their early season form with a third victory from three games in Newcastle on Saturday, taking a 46-63 victory against Team Northumbria.
The duck egg blues travelled for a good seven hours north by coach for a match against a determined and committed Team Northumbria without a win this season and playing their first game at home.
However the starting lineup with only one change, with Yaz Parsons in for Georgia Lees at WA, won the first quarter 16-10 with their speed of delivery into Megan Craig and Katy Harris providing improved shooting percentages. The team defensive pressure from all over the court resulted in regular turnovers which Storm converted to points.
The second quarter was a different proposition altogether with Northumbria fighting back after making several changes and with their own defensive pressure forcing errors and turnovers and closing the gap to 27-24 at half time.
Continuing her strategy of rotating the squad Director of Netball Tania Hoffman inserted Lees (WA), Bethany Sutherland (GD) and Naida Hutchinson (GK) into the fray at half time with immediate results.
Hutchinson returning from surgery and with limited match play hustled and provided opportunities for herself and Holland to once again regularly take possession which the Storm treasured and converted to points.
Another strong quarter extended the Storm lead further to lead by 46-37 the stage was set for the final fifteen minutes.
Coach Hoffman made one final change for this quarter with Frankie Wells making her NSL debut replacing the strong performing Megan Craig. Wells took her much deserved opportunity and dominated the circle in combination with Harris and there was no letup in the scoring rate. The Storm finished as strongly as they had started in front of a vocal Northern crowd and at the final whistle took the win 63-46.
With all players having valuable court time and a long season ahead it is pleasing to see real competition for places in this young squad. Plenty to fight for this week at training with a Netball London Live starting spots up for grabs and the Storm gathering momentum with respected rivals Mavericks ahead for them.
Tickets for Saturday’s big game are on sale now at www.netballlondonlive.com.
Storm starting 7:
GK – Kowalewska
GD – Holland
WD – Williams
C – Austin
WA – Parsons
GA – Harris
GS – Craig
Changes for Storm: Hutchinson to GK, Sutherland to GA, Lees to WA (Q3), Wells to GS (Q4)
Northumbria starting 7:
GK – Kennedy
GD – Keenan
WD – Thomas
C – Burgess
WA – Grierson
GA – Semple
GS – Rowe