It looks like Surrey Storm have recruited well in replacing their England defensive pairing of Geva Mentor and Sonia Mkoloma, as they added another win to their debut season tally in the Co-operative Netball Superleague. A tight first-half, in the live TV game at Leeds Carnegie was followed by a third quarter push from the visitors that made it a comfortable 11th league win.
Taking an early 5-1 lead against Surrey Storm may have given some Leeds Carnegie fans cause to consider that an upset was on the cards, the Superleague has been providing a few of those of late. Carnegie, in the hunt for a place-in the play-offs were moving well in the initial exchanges and as always their shooters were proving accurate in the D. One miss in the first 15 minutes but fewer attempts than Storm.
As the game progressed it became clear that Surrey were finding their feet, or should be hands, eyes and co-ordination. Hannah Reid and Janet Coulbourne have had little court time together and yet as the minutes tick by in the games (and down to the end of the season) “Han ‘n Jan” are creating a pretty slick defensive operation.” While they were not able to greatly influence the accuracy of Leed’s shooters, again just one missed shot in the quarter, they were bit by bit cutting down the supply of ball in.
Quarter three saw Surrey come out all in their full pomp, Rachel Dunn scored 17 goals in that period, nearly as many as she netted in the whole of the first half, with Tamsin Greenway’s help Storm scored 19 from 27 in that 15 minutes. Leeds shooters may only have had 10 attempts, but the key to this side is their reliability under the post; they only failed to land two. An injury to Jo Walker did not help, although Rachel Shaw is a great pair of hands to have on the bench and the team had a shuffle during the injury break, Jo Davies also went off with an injury.
The final 15 minutes was a better response from Carnegie who should take a little heart as they prepare for a massive match at the weekend - a local derby against the side keeping them out of the 4th play-off place - Northern Thunder. It was another excellent shooting performance 88% of the attempts went in and despite the dip after half an hour they stayed with the table-toppers for a good part of the game. Storm breezed it in the end 62-44
In a manner of speaking, Marion Lofthouse, Leeds Carnegie’s head coach was more than half-pleased with the performance. She said “Leeds matched Surrey Storm in all departments in the first two quarters finishing only three goals down at half-time 27-24.”
“The third quarter was again Leeds downfall, losing it 19-8. The fourth quarter Leeds fought back only losing it 16-12.”
With a key derby match on the horizon she warned,“work will be needed before we meet Thunder on Saturday to cut out unforced errors.”
Surrey Storm’s head coach Mary Beardwood had this to say “ I’m really, really pleased with the result, especially as the new players showed their class. They are experienced players, but to bed-in so quickly to new combinations is exceptional.”
“The first two quarters were tight and Leeds pushed us hard,” she said adding, “after half-time we sorted out our strategy and scored ten on the trot. Overall a magnificent second half display.”
photos Janos Schmidt