The Vitality Netball Superleague 2018 season has been completed and it’s time to look back at what has been a rollercoaster season for the duck egg blue girls.
Storm underwent a period of rebuilding over the winter months, signing new players to add strengths to the ranks. Beginning with Jo Trip and South African duo Sigi Burger and Charmaine Baard, the franchise showed their intent to compete with the best. Swiftly following up with Jade Forbes-Wattley, Tallisa Haynes and Dee Bolakoro.
Following a promising pre-season, Storm’s first test came live on Sky Sports away against Wasps.
It was a dominant performance from the 2017 Superleague Champions but there was plenty to be pleased with after a strong debut performance from Sigi Burger and NPL graduate Emily Gulvin also making her debut.
Storm then travelled to local rivals benecosMavericks for what would turn out to be an incredible night of netball.
Late drama saw Storm take Mavericks to extra time where unfortunately, the home side took the victory. The slender 64-62 loss would be the first of a series of tough nights for the side at start of the season.
Facing the opening half of the season on the road it was always going to be difficult for Storm to gain momentum. A hard-fought loss against Bath and two close defeats to Dragons and Lightning followed. Despite their passion and passages of exceptional play the side couldn’t quite overturn their opponents.
Storm’s first win of the season came away to Team Northumbria on 17th March. Tania Hoffman’s side were exceptional on the night, defensive stability helping to enable the attackers to make the most of their ability.
Storm eventually returned to Surrey Sports Park for the second half of the season, hopeful that with their famously fierce supporters behind them they could improve their results.
That proved to be just the case when Celtic Dragons visited. Storm put in a dominant performance, controlling the game from start to finish. Sigi Burger, invigorated by her trip to the Commonwealth Games with South Africa, netted goal after goal.
Following a series of heart-breaking defeats to Bath, Wasps and Stars, the team looked to band together to repay fans for their unwavering support throughout the season.
Storm did just that. A comfortable victory over Sirens and a nail biting one goal win against Northumbria gave the side their first back to back wins of the season. Both the fans and team were overjoyed with the results.
The season came to an end with the 2018 edition of Netball London Live. Facing new rivals Loughborough Lightning, thousands of Storm fans flooded to the Copper Box Arena.
While the result may not have been the one Storm were looking for, with Lightning taking a 63-41 win, but it was another fantastic occasion with a great atmosphere being the perfect send-off for Tania Hoffman’s final Storm match.