Storm reign supreme
11 February 2010
Top of the table Surrey Storm powered to a 43-27 win over second placed Hertfordshire Mavericks in the Co-operative Netball Superleague, continuing their unbeaten record with four wins from four.
The Sky Sports match of the week was always going to be a fiercely contested encounter with an array of England players and ex internationals on show and some nervy opening minutes from both sides saw both defences steeling the show with numerous turnovers and tips. It was Surrey Storm though who settled quickly and the defensive partnership of England’s Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor gave Mavericks plenty to think about.
Meanwhile England and Storm shooter Rachel Dunn was being hotly pursued by ex England captain Amanda Newton but Dunn quickly found her eye and Storm started to pull out a lead. Storm’s Jaime Galley had one of the hardest jobs of the night marking England Co-Captain Karen Atkinson and the Aussie battled for every ball resulting in a 2 goal sin bin for the defender outlining the competitive nature of the fixture but Galley didn’t let it effect her concentration and nor did Storm who led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Mavericks made changes in the shooting circle and a momentary wobble from Storm and some good defensive pressure through court from Mavericks pulled them level at 11-11. Storm responded with some fantastic defence and upped the pressure, throw in a few outstanding Geva Mentor intercepts, some typical Becky Nash determination and some amazing shots from Rachel Dunn who failed to miss a shot, and Surrey Storm were in control. England attacker Tamsin Greenway was masterminding the attack taking plenty of ball and Storm led 20-15 at half time.
The away side made more changes with Vicklyn Joseph, a former London and SE player joining the court and the nippy Rose Morgan-Smith came on at wing attack. Natasha Hampshire donned the centre bib for Storm and the quarter started with the defence of MnM producing some vintage tips and interceptions. Michelle Hall a former Maverick herself was finding more space against her old side but it was Rachel Dunn who was stealing the show with some sublime shooting from everywhere in the circle. Storm’s England shooter has been in scintillating form this season and with her England team mate Greenway feeding her, Storm’s attack were at times unstoppable extending their lead to 11 goals.
Hertfordshire Mavericks came out fighting in the last quarter as expected but once again awesome through court defensive pressure turned the ball over for Storm. Geva Mentor now at goal defence had another outstanding game and Dunn continued to slot away the shots with style and confidence, which earned her the Co-operative player of the match. Storm sealed yet another confident victory and Head Coach Mary Beardwood still believes the squad have more to give; “I can’t believe how much ball we turned over and how much we threw away” she stated. “I must give credit to Mavericks, they pushed us all the way and we had a shaky start to both the 1st and 2nd quarters but then we showed our strength and power and put together some awesome passages of play”.
Storm are now ready to face the reigning champions Team Bath in a sell out match on Friday night at Guildford Spectrum, tonight’s result against such a quality side spelt out a clear message of intent. Beardwood added; “It posted a message to Team Bath about Friday’s match and I am excited because this squad has still yet to fulfil their potential”.
Storm captain Sonia Mkoloma added; “It was great to get a good result against an opposition of their calibre and was good preparation for Team Bath. We were controlled and consistent in our decision making which was really important”.