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Netball - 30. January 2011.

Northern Thunder victorious over Storm


Castle Leisure Centre, Bury.

It was the first big clash of the 2011 Fiat Netball Superleague with 
Northern Thunder taking the initiative in the title race by scoring an 
impressive victory over Surrey Storm in front of a home crowd in 
Bury.  A physical start to the match led to a tight first couple of 
quarters, nothing much in the score line with both sides taking a lead 
only to be hauled back.

Storm will probably admit they got better in the second quarter, their 
defensive zoning created problems for their hosts with Karen Greig 
struggling to find her trademark accuracy.  At the other end it wasn’t 
the best performance we’ve seen from Rachel Dunn either.  Surrey took 
an 19-17 lead but let it slip.

Thunder's captain Karen Greig woke up in the second half leading the 
way for her team with a perfect 15 from 15 attempts in the third 
quarter.  We expect nothing but the best from Sara Bayman and Jade 
Clarke and it looks like they have a new friend to join them in their 
“centre (third) of excellence”.  What a difference Jess Langman made 
coming on at WA and bringing pace, precision and a bounce pass (that 
even scares her team-mates), onto the court helping turn the game to 
the home side’s advantage in the last 30 minutes of the match.

But it was defender Emma Dovey who was named player of the match after 
a series of key rebounds and interceptions.  Thunder finding their 
groove later in the match an improvement on their finish against 
Hertfordshire Mavericks less than 5 days before

Surrey Storm's Head coach Mary Beardwood: “We some silly mistakes at 
the end of the second quarter where we went from 2 goals up to 3 goals 
down. Langman coming on for Thunder was extremely effective, but it 
was great to give our younger players a run out, Fran Desmond making 
her Fiat Netball Superleague debut and giving us lots to work on ahead 
our Mavericks game on the 7th."

Northern Thunder captain Karen Grieg: “A good win, although a slower 
start than we wanted  we picked up the pace. The second half we 
started to ask questions of Surrey, they had no answers. Our through 
court ball and our patience were excellent. We’re looking forward to 
what challenges the other teams have for us - bring it on!”

Lisa O'Sullivan
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