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Netball - 18. February 2009.

Round 15- Brunel Hurricanes vs Team Northumbria



It’s been a bad week at home for Brunel Hurricanes. Glasgow Wildcats scored their first win of the season in a sizzling Co-operative Netball Superleague encounter on Monday, and on Valentine’s Day at the Guildford Spectrum they never managed to get ahead of Team Northumbria.  


I suspect there will be more than a few bruises being iced after this physical battle.  Team Northumbria made the trip south by coach, bringing with them a vocal group of cheerleaders brandishing banners and dominated an under-strength Hurricanes home crowd.  The team went out on court and did exactly the same dominating the centre court and shutting down the home side’s shooting opportunities, a tactic that coach Denise Egan admitted afterwards, was something they had worked on before the game.


Sonia Mkoloma was immediately missed in defence where her reach and height so often denies shooters any opportunity for goals - the ankle injured on Monday against Wildcats kept her on the bench for the first half.  Northumbria exploited their advantage, lobbing in many more passes to the attack than Brunel managed to deliver to theirs.


There were a number of tussles that resulted in time-outs in the match, the first just over half-way through the first quarter. GA Jaime Galley was upended as Hurricanes looked to close a three goal gap, the upset disrupted an already edgy Brunel side and by the end of the first 15 minutes the visitors were 4 ahead. It was one of those games that had everyone on their feet at one stage of the game and the physical nature didn’t have just the crowd shouting out - both coaches felt the need to bawl out their frustration at some stage during the game.


The second quarter followed much the same pattern with but Northumbria’s pressure paid off with more chances on goal taking them 28-20 ahead by half-time.  Hurricanes are eyeing a place in the play-offs, and were almost shoe-in’s this time last week but with the match slipping away Coach Natalie Swift called on Sonia Mkoloma to GK, a substitution that certainly steadied the side and by the end of the third quarter they were 2 goals behind.


For the final 15 minutes Team Northumbria were able to maintain the upper hand as Brunel Hurricanes spent too much time on the wrong side of the whistle and the clock counted down before they could get back on terms. The result has wider implications for the Superleague as we close in on qualifying for the end of season play-offs.  Two defeats in a week for Hurricanes has thrown open that 4th place finish; it should be a cracking finish to the season


After match Hurricanes coach Natalie Swift said “It was tough game and we had chances to win.. We came out with a lot more spirit and drive.” She also admitted that getting ready for the match had not gone entirely to plan “We’ve been struck some injury and sickness and it’s affected our preparation and momentum.”




Team Northumbria’s Denise Egan said that it was necessary to use quite a bit of the squad to take on the strength of opposition.  “We stepped up to the physicality but didn’t let it interfere with our game we were mentally tough. The team knew what to expect and they stuck to the game plan didn’t emotional about the situation.  I may have let the red mist come down but they didn’t.”




GS: Vicklyn Joseph

GA: Asha Tett

WA:  Louise Moffats

C: Becky Nash (capt)

WD: Chioma Matthews

GD: Sonia Mkoloma

GK: Areta Thatcher


V. Joseph 31/39 = 79%

A. Tett      6/12 = 50%

L. Press    5/7 = 71%



GS: Carla Dziwoki (capt)

GA: Vicky Phillips

WA: Talei Bari

C : Vicky Burgess

WD: Kathy Spears

GD: Sarah Penny

GK: Abi Ryan


Carla Dziwoki (capt) 74%

Vicky Phillips 60%

Talei Bari 67%

Emma Lower 50%

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