Storm fall in home opener to VNSL reigning Champions
Bartercard Surrey Storm welcome VNSL reigning champions Loughborough lightening to Surrey Sports Park for their 2022 home opener.
Loughborough Lightening a benchmark team in the league asserted their presence early and dominated the first quarter. In the opening 3 minutes of the game Loughborough manage to turnover the ball edging out a 1 – 4 lead.
The lightening Goal keeper Alice Harvey caused issues for the Storm attack early in the game making it very difficult for the home side to find league leading goal scorer Proscovia Peace.
At the other end of the court the length of Mary Cholhok allowed Loughbrough to feed the shooter from all areas of the court as the hard work from Goalkeeper Alima Priest couldn’t match the size of Cholhok.
Halfway through the quarter Lightning take a 5 – 15 lead as Storm decide to change up the defence bringing on Friday nights player of the match Abi Robson and Zimbabwe international Felisitus Kwangwa.
A dominating start from the champs leading 11-24 after the first quarter.
Storm made a strong start to the 2nd quarter as Kwangwa displays relentless energy at goal defence. However, the Loughborough midcourt took charge of the game behind Nat Panagarry as the lightening transition up the court with precision and speed.
Storm take a leaf out of the away sides book as the home side find better form in the last few minutes clawing the game back to 10 goals. Feeds from Austin and Parsons find Peace who would finish 100% on shooting for the night.
Both sides remain with the same 7s to start the 3rd quarter as Storm are the first to strike points on the board. The home side look to repeat Friday nights magic with another 3rd quarter come back.
The defensive hands from Leah Middleton at Goal Keeper and unselfish work at the opposite end from Emma Magee set the home side up to pull 2 goals back in the opening minutes 34 – 41.
As we approach halfway through the 3rd quarter Loughborough had no answers for Storm as the defensive efforts convert at the other end and reduce the deficit to 5 goals.
As Surrey Sports Park was roaring from the enthused fans, Loughborough begin to find composure regaining a 7-goal lead. An unfortunate landing saw Storm shooter Emma Magee go down with an ankle injury. Emma did not return to the court and was replaced by Frankie Wells.
It was going to take a huge effort from Storm to continue the run from the third quarter. Surrey’s fatigue kicked in and Loughborough demonstrated their championship calibre as they stepped on the gas and executed throughout.
With 5 minutes to go Loughborough take an 18-point lead as Zan Vimbela gets the nod, Cobden moved to C and Bowen to WD.
With the game out of reach Loughborough student Thacker gives Cholhok a much-deserved rest as Lightening take a 56 – 72 victory.