Super Surrey Storm sweep into final
05 June 2011
Surrey Storm produced a dominant display in Oldham to overcome Northern Thunder 48 - 64 and book their place in The FIAT Netball Superleague Grand Final.
With another herd of travelling supporters who had made the long journey up the country armed with clapper sticks, Storm pulled together another composed, full-team performance to progress through to the showpiece final versus Hertfordshire Mavericks on Thursday.
Storm began with the same 7 who had defeated reigning champions Team Bath a week earlier, and after a messy first 5 minutes with some uncharacteristic mistakes at both ends, they finally began to settle. The ball began flowing with ease from the Surrey centre pass with Cosentino and Greenway creating excellent second phase options, and with Dunn’s perfect timing, the Thunder defence struggled to get to any ball fed into the shooting circle. Reid and Holland began to read newly imported GS Alex Wood’s movement and a couple of key intercepts meant Storm went into the first break 5 goals up at 16-11.
There were no changes for either team at the start of the second quarter and it was Thunder who were best out of the blocks. Dunn and Greenway’s usual telepathic connection was broken in the first few minutes, where a missed shot and some loose passes combined with some clever intercepts from England International Jade Clarke drew the Northerners back into the game - the scores level at 17-17 after 5 minutes. Storm responded and stepped up their game with Seaton and Trippick working tirelessly in the centre court to create turnover. Storm stepped up a gear and began to move the ball around more patiently, creating cleaner opportunities and giving Dunn free range in the circle to continue her shooting onslaught. The final few minutes of the half were all Storm as they headed into the mid-way break still 5 goals up at 25-20.
The third quarter saw a fired up Surrey Storm take control of the game. Strong drives and cuts with superb feeding into Dunn caused havoc in the Thunder defence, whilst Reid continued to create problems in the Thunder circle, forcing missed shots and hesitation. As the gap widened, Thunder called a time out and replaced young WD Taylor with Gibson to try and break up the flow of the Storm attack. They also made a change in the attack end, bringing Henry on to replace Langman as they tried to ignite some magic in their front line. However, with their defence unit working so tightly and Storm fully in the zone, the goals continued to pile on. Storm took their biggest lead of the game ending the third quarter 46-33 up with only 15 minutes between them and the FNSL Grand Final.
Thunder again came out fighting in the 4th, knowing that their chances of making the Grand Final were slipping away. However, Storm kept their composure and continued to push on, sensing victory. The slick passing continued, with Dunn consistently slotting at will as Storm took the game out of reach of the Northern outfit. Errors began to creep in to both sides in the final few minutes, but with the result already decided, Greenway had the final shot of the game, nailing a mid-range penalty to lead her side to an impressive victory and a well deserved place in the Grand Final to take on local rival Mavericks.
Storm captain Greenway sportingly sympathised with her beaten opponents, she remarked "I said to them (Thunder) that I really do feel for them because if they kept their squad together without any injuries this year they would have gone on to win it, but unfortunately that's sport.
"We came out here with a job to do and it was nice to get a big score and nice not to drop off at the end and keep pressuring them. I thought that Gemma's (Cosentino) drives through the court were fantastic her second phase was spot on and her feeding."
Coach Mary Beardwood said, “It was a hard fought game right the way through, and even though the score was 16 in the end, it was never easy. I think that the third quarter we really put our foot on the pedal and scored off virtually every centre pass.
“The girls keep upping their game and doing what we ask of them and that’s a great position to be in as a coach. We have had a great run of form to reach the final and now it is anyone’s game. We are really looking forward to facing Mavericks in Thursday’s final.
“It's going to be a really tight game, and last time out we drew, so I think it should be a really good spectacle for TV."
Friday’s play-off victory over Northern Thunder can be seen on Wednesday 8th at 6pm on Sky Sports 4, whilst coverage of the Grand Final goes out live on Thursday 9 June from 7.30pm on Sky Sports. You will also be able to follow all the action on twitter and facebook.
How to get tickets!
Storm have the best fans in the FNSL and we want as many of you as possible to be there on Thursday night!
The second allocation of Grand Final tickets go on sale from Monday 6th June at 9am.
To book your seats in Hatfield you can either call the ticket line on 01462 428 314 or fax through an application form to 01462 428 327, you can download the application form by following this link: http://www.netballsuperleague.com/file/manual/fnslgrandfinal2011ticketbookingform.pdf
Only 200 tickets are available on a first-come-first served basis so be sure to get in there quick!
Tickets are priced at £12 for adults and £8 for U16s.
More information via http://www.netballsuperleague.com/