An agonising defeat to Manchester Thunder on Saturday evening saw Surrey Storm finish in 2nd place in the first ever Next Generation Superleague competition, suffering just a single defeat in five matches.
Thunder, who were crowned champions after the win, took a victory over Hertfordshire Mavericks earlier in the day to set up a winner-takes-all tie against Storm to round off the tournament at the Thunderdome.
The long-standing rivals were both undefeated heading into the meeting, which Storm coach Lesley Tischler named a strong starting 7 for including Superleague players Georgia Lees, Yasmin Parsons and Amy Flanagan alongside young guns Fran Williams, Olivia Emanus, Rhea Dixon and Elsa Wakeman.
The opening quarter saw both sides tussling for an advantage, before the hosts pulled ahead to lead by 5 at the break. Thunder extended their lead at half time (22-16) before Storm charged back into the fixture to set up a promising final quarter (28-26).
But despite their efforts Thunder were able to regain their momentum in the fourth period to close out the game and take the title from the hands of Storm (42-34).
The result left Storm with a very respectable second place finish in the first ever Next Generation Superleague, with four wins and one loss.
Storm’s young stars will now turn to their attentions to preparation for the Superleague and Netball Performance League seasons, with the final senior and NPL squads being announced in the coming weeks.