Storm off to a winning start in front of record crowd
26 January 2011
Surrey Storm started their Fiat Netball Superleague season as they mean to go on with a convincing 58 – 32 win over Tracey Neville’s new look Team Northumbria.
A new Storm line-up, with seven new players joining seven re-signings from last season, was eager to impress both the record sell-out crowd at Surrey Sports Park and Head Coach, Mary Beardwood.
A shaky first quarter saw the visitors go 2 – 0 up courtesy of ex-England player/coach, Lisa Stanley, before Storm's own powerhouse Rachel Dunn levelled things up. Tessa Burton at centre and Marie Ewing at goal attack for Northumbria were impressive, putting the Storm defence under pressure for the ball. The first quarter ended with Team Northumbria up 10 – 9, and Storm on the back foot.
Quarter two was more testing for both sides. Burton was warned by the umpires for persistent obstruction/contact early on and Storm levelled the score two minutes in – the last time they would draw or fall behind in the fixture.
Dunn and Cosentino were convincing in the Storm attacking circle, both only missing one shot in the quarter, a success rate mirrored by their Northumbria counter-parts. The Storm's Hannah Reid and Katy Holland, however, caused more disruptions in their defensive end, limiting the away goals to seven and contributing five turnover goals. The score at the end of the second quarter was 27 – 17 to Surrey Storm.
Both teams made changes at half time, Storm swapping Seaton for Bello at wing defence, utilising the depth of talent and experience they have at that position, and Northumbria resting Burton, bringing Kelly Martin across to centre and introducing Jade Johnson to the game at wing defence.
Storm Captain Tamsin Greenway was excellent throughout, following on from her England Test Series appearances. A superb Storm centre pass was blown off-side to much uproar from the crowd, resulting in the bench getting warned by umpire Lucy Mitchell. The call disrupted a run of goals from the home team. However, the Storm soon brushed themselves down hitting the 40 goal mark with two minutes remaining - Dunn personally putting away 15 goals in the third quarter alone. Storm went into the final quarter 18 goals up, leading 44 – 26.
The fourth quarter was slower for both teams, with only two Storm goals being scored in the first two and half minutes. Dunn was tested by a physically competitive Northumbria defence, resulting in three crashes to the floor in seven minutes. Fortunately, the collisions didn’t affect the goal shoot’s stats – with her netting another 11 from 12 attempts. Holland proved her worth with some incredible flying interceptions, earning her the Gidden Place Most Valuable Player award in her debut Superleague appearance.
The game ended in a comfortable 58 – 32 win for Surrey Storm.
Head Coach Mary Beardwood was pleased with the win, and impressed with her side: ‘We are a team with excellent depth, and incredible youth – something that was clear to see on court today. Katy Holland’s debut should make other teams sit up and take notice! Our England players have come out of a particularly exhausting Test Series and camp, so whilst we have a lot to learn, I am just pleased the season has started and we are able to get out there and play netball.’
Surrey Storm are on the road next week, taking on Northern Thunder in Bury, before their next sell-out home game (screened on Sky) versus local rivals Hertfordshire Mavericks, at Surrey Sports Park on Monday 7 February.
Tickets for upcoming home fixtures against Loughborough Lightening and Leeds Carnegie are available from the Surrey Sports Park Box Office on 01483 689111 or the Storm’s website.
Overall Shooting Stats
- Surrey Storm – 58/72 (81%)
- Team Northumbria – 32/54 (59%)