Storm suffer rare defeat
30 April 2011
Surrey Storm will be keen to put last night’s journey and match against Team Northumbria behind them losing 44 - 32. After scoring the opening goal of the game at Northumbria University’s Sport Central, Storm failed to take the lead again in what turned out to be a their second biggest defeat of the season. In the absence of Captain Tamsin Greenway and sharp shooter Rachel Dunn who were both away on England commitments in Jamaica, a new look attacking line up took to the court. Young shooter Fran Plom was given the nod in her debut game at GS with Rhianne McHale joining her in the circle at GA and Gemma Cosentino moving across to WA. The new combination took time to settle and the first period saw Storm rack up an impressive error count as they struggled to feed the shooting circle with any consistency. When the ball did find its way under the post, both Plom and McHale were converting but the Northumbria defence kept each of them to just 5 shots a piece. Northumbria however, not affected by the England tour were quick to find their rhythm and with both shooter firing on all cylinders went into the first break with a 2 goal lead at 11-9.
There were no changes in the Storm line-up going into the second quarter as they looked to push on. However, despite the tireless work from their defensive trio of Reid, Seaton and Desmond who frequently turned over the ball, too many of these opportunities were squandered through passing errors as the attack continued to struggle to find any flow. Storm were again kept to just 11 shooting opportunities in the quarter and with Northumbria producing a 100% shooting period, they stretched the lead to 6 at half time and Storm left the court trailing 23-17 with everything to do in the second half.
Mary Beardwood rang the changes going into the second half with Adele Modeste introduced at WA and Cosentino moving across into her more familiar GA position in the circle with McHale. Seaton moved up to WD with Katy Holland coming off the bench into GD. Again the changes took time to take effect and for the first 8 minutes of the half Northumbria looked to be taking the game away, pulling out to a 9 goal lead. However, Storm had other ideas and a string of defensive brilliance from the back 3 and the support of work horse Trippick at C allowed them to regain some composure and prevent a Northumbria blow-out. Although it was another low scoring period for Storm with just 8 goals, it was Northumbria’s turn to battle for opportunities and despite another flawless performance from their shooters with 6 from 6, Storm won the quarter by 2 and went into the final 15 minutes back in the game at 29-25.
The final quarter saw 15 year old NTL player Amanda Davis make her senior debut at GS with Beardwood opting to try a new-look shooting circle. The youngster showed no signs of nerves sinking a first shot from range, closely followed by another off the Northumbria centre pass after a Seaton intercept. Storm looked to be building some momentum and confidence and had the chance to bring the lead back down to 3 in the first 4 minutes of the quarter. However, a missed shot allowed Northumbria to regain possession and they punished this with a 5 goal run to pull back away. It was one way traffic from then on, and although Reid, Holland, Seaton and Trippick continued to turn ball over in their defensive half, Storm never really looked like getting back in it and lost the quarter 15-7, allowing Northumbria to take only their 3rd victory of the season.
Coach Mary Beardwood had few words to say after the game; ‘We weren’t good enough today. Our error count was too high both as a team and individuals and we didn’t step up on the day. It’s disappointing to suffer our second biggest loss at this stage in the season but there will be lessons learnt and we will come back fighting next week for Celtic. This is a wake-up call in the build up to the play-offs and we will be working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’