Surrey Storm pulled off a stunning upset, ending Manchester Thunder’s unbeaten run of 23 games in NSL match play with a final score of 56-49 at Surrey Sports Park. Storm struck first and blitzed a startled Thunder from the FCP. The lead gained in the first 5 minutes would be the cushion Storm lent on throughout the game. Despite Thunders efforts to get back into the game the home side held onto the lead throughout. Amidst a display of exceptional netball skills from both sides, Surrey Storm emerged victorious, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next time these two formidable teams meet in Manchester for another thrilling game of netball.
Storm got off to a fast start, with Peace sinking the opening shot of the game and Drakeford Lewis extending their lead to 3-0 after a misplaced ball by Thunder.
Storm’s tenacity and Guscoth’s interceptions allowed the home side to maintain a 6-0 lead after the first five minutes. Thunder eventually found their rhythm, with Potgieter scoring and reducing the deficit to 3 goals in the latter half of the opening quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams fight hard for every ball, with numerous cautions and turnovers on both sides. Storm convert on Guscoth efforts and maintain a 3 goal lead, but Thunder continued to pressure the Storm’s shooters. Despite Middleton gaining a held ball and Storm receiving a caution for intentional obstruction, Storm ended the quarter with a 7 goal lead.
Out of the half Storm’s Guscoth continues intercepting centre passes, enabling Peace to gain another goal and increase their lead back to 7 goals. Despite Thunder reducing the lead to 5 goals, Storm’s Knights and Guscoth worked collectively to gain a held ball, allowing them to convert it to an 8 goal lead.
The fourth quarter saw Almond back on as GK, and Flanagan being called off for blood, with Cooper coming on to make her mark on the court. The game became even more physical, with both teams fighting hard for every ball.
Storm’s Flanagan returned and picked up an interception midcourt, sending it to SDL to feed Peace cleanly. Thunder’s Metcalf collided with Austin, knocking them both into the circle. Storm’s Knights and Guscoth worked together to gain a held ball, allowing them to extend their lead to 8 goals. Despite the game becoming increasingly physical and the referees calling the captains in to tell players to tidy up play, Storm held on for the win.