Mavericks no Match for Storm
20 January 2012
Surrey Storm got their 2012 FNSL campaign off to a dream start last night with a solid performance and convincing victory over the 2011 Champions Hertfordshire Mavericks. In front of a sell out crowd at the University of Hertfordshire, and live on Sky Sports 4, last years finalists battled out the long awaited opening game of the 2012 season.
With Storm boasting arguably the strongest attacking line up in the competition, with Dunn and Greenway being joined by England team mate and World Class GA Pamela Cookey, expectations were high and the pressure was on.
With an unchanged defensive line-up from last season of Reid, Holland and Seaton and Captain Becky Trippick leading from centre Storm laid down the cards early by breaking Mavericks first centre pass and scoring off it to take a 2-0 lead. However, Mavericks and England defender Lindsay Keable had other ideas and a well-timed jump on Dunns attempted shot saw them break back and draw level. For the next 5 minutes of the game there was very little between the 2 as play continued to go with centre pass and some consistent shooting from both sides saw a goal for goal encounter ensue. As the quarter went on the error rate from both teams crept up and Storm squandered a number of opportunities to pull ahead, leaving the scores level at 8-8 with 5 minutes to go. It wasn’t till the final 3 minutes of the period that Storm started, as they had threatened to since the first whistle, pull ahead and stretch the lead to 3 at the first break leading 13-10.
The second period saw no changes from either team. Storm again started strong easily converting to turnovers to pull ahead to 15-10 with just 1 minute played and looking dangerous. However, again a few errors through the court allowed Mavericks back in and with their centre court starting to find Joseph under the post from range more consistently the gap was narrowed to 2 half way through the quarter. Although the next few minutes again went goal for goal, Storm never really looked troubled and towards the end of the half started to look increasingly confident. With the 7 on court really starting to gel and pressure the long feed, Mavericks centre court were forced into errors which were more consistently slotted in by Cookey and Dunn. By the half-time break, the lead was stretched to 6 at 28-22.
Mavericks started the second half with a change in the shooting circle, bringing on the young Ewer at GA. However, after what was Greenways first half-time talk in charge, Storm took to the court meaning business and looking to take the game out of reach. Looking more and more relaxed and starting to play with flair and confidence Storm quickly added 4 goals to stretch their lead to 10 and not allowing Mavericks to score for nearly 2 minutes. With Storms attacking unit moving the ball at ease and finding Dunn under the post with some pin-point passing from Greenway and Trippick, Mavericks were forced take risks to stay in the game. The defensive trio of Seaton, Holland and Reid began to get the better of their opponents up the other end of the court producing a number of impressive interceptions. A nasty wipe out on Greenway off a Storm centre pass forced an injury timeout which threatened to break the Storm flow, however they continued to gain momentum going into the final period comfortably in front at 50-34.
With a comfortable lead Storm seized the opportunity to introduce new faces for the final 15 minutes, bringing on Adele Modeste for Greenway at WA and Stef Bello for Seaton at WD. Mavericks also rang the changes bringing Keable out to GD and Huckle on at GK to try and stem the flow into Dunn and Cookey. After an early 2 goals on the trot from the home team, and a few errors from the new Storm line-up in the first few minutes, Storm were settled by a Dunn long-bomb from the edge of the circle and never looked back from there. Mavericks continued to work tirelessly till the end and despite numerous turnovers and classy interceptions from Bello, Reid and Holland, they finished the game with a 4 goal flurry to bring it back to 15 and leave the final score at 62-47 to Storm.
Storm player / coach Greenway was pleased with both the performance and the victory; ‘It’s nice to get that one out of the way! We put out a solid performance today and the good thing is we’ve still got lots more in us. I’m happy with what we put out there tonight and the defence did some great stuff, but we’ve got a long way to go and are just taking it 1 game at a time.’
Storms next game is a sell out home fixture against Loughborough Lightning on Saturday 28th Jan at 7pm.