Storm Slay Dragons To Go third in FIAT Superleague
After a well earned weekend's rest from the Superleague, Surrey Storm came away with a hard fought 60 - 44 win over Celtic Dragons to take them into third place.The match took place in Wrexham, North Wales, resulting in a travelling fixture for both teams, and was played in front of an excitable crowd.
. A stalwart seven, featuring newly announced FENA Captain Rachel Dunn, played the full 60 minutes for Storm, whilst Dragons utilised 11 players from their squad of 12.
The first quarter started hard and fast for both teams, before Greenway lead by example and turned over some great balls for the visiting attack to convinvcingly convert. With Cato at the other end for Dragons, the Storm defence of Reid and Holland were tested from the start and saw them come together to pile pressure on the now notorious Welsh attacking force. Quarter one ended 18 - 13 to Storm.
No changes to either team meant another closely contested meeting in the second, Seaton working hard with Trippick to pick up any rare loose balls for the attack to convert. Celtic too were able to capitalise on some silly Surrey mistakes, and kept Storm to a 16 - 11 quarter score, taking the lead to 10; 34 - 24 at the break.
Dragons made plenty of substitutions and changes going into the third quarter - Cato at GS and Williams at GD the only players to stay put. Trounce, Barrett, Neal and Thomas got their chance, which they used with vigour making a difference from the whistle. Storm made some silly errors which were quickly utilised by the home side and converted successfully, meaning Celtic won the quarter 11 - 10.
Confident in their teams, neither coach made changes leaving those on court to battle it out in the final stretch. With Reid dealing with Cato, Dunn and Cosentino were able to continue their work at the attacking end extending the lead more and more comfortably until the final whistle blew at 60 - 44.
The Storm defence worked relentlessly from start to finish, resulting in some incredible turnovers for the London and South East side. This was clearly not what anyone would call an easy game, and Mary Beardwood paid testament to the home team. She said, "Celtic have improved massively since last year and are really shaking the league up. Despite this, by defending solidly down the court for 60 minutes, we were able to make our lead count and take the win in another high scoring fixture."
Natalie Seaton was the proud recipient of the 'Gidden Place Most Valuable Player Award' for her work on court, but it was a difficult decision for the coaching team to make. Assistant Coach Mel Mansfield was full of praise: "The girls have trained hard for tonight and that was clear for anyone to see. For Hannah, Katy and Natalie to work as such a tight unit, yet link with everyone so effectively - the girls have every right to be extremely proud of themselves."
Surrey Storm now have a double header weekend to look forward to, playing Bath at home on Saturday before heading up to Leeds for their second meeting on Sunday.
The highly anticipated home Team Bath game is SOLD OUT and it promises to be a great match. Tickets are still available for upcoming matches versus Glasgow Wildcats on Friday 1 April and Northern Thunder on Saturday 9 April.
Sky Sports coverage continues to heighten the awareness of netball as an exciting competitive team sport. During this season, Sky Sports will continue to broadcast weekly at prime time on Thursday evenings, right through to the Grand Final in June 2011.
Image courtesy SURREY STORM website
League table courtesy netballsuperleague.com
Keep up to date with all the Fiat superleague news here NETBALL SUPERLEAGUE
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt