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Back to back home wins for Sirens delights home support

10th April 2017

Following last week’s win over Team Bath, Sirens returned to the Emirates Arena to face another top 4 side in Surrey Storm, currently sitting in second place after 7 rounds of competition.   Surrey Storm have impressed this season and with the formidable Megan Craig leading the shooting line, Sirens knew a strong performance was required if they were to come out with a win.

 

Starting Line Up: Sirens                                                           Starting Line Up: Surrey Storm

GS: Carla Borrego                                                                       GS:  Megan Craig

GA: Ellen Halpenny                                                                   GA:  Katie Harris

WA: Nicola McCleery                                                                 WA:  Georgia Lees

C: Caroline O’Hanlon                                                                  C:    Yaz Parsons

WD: Claire Brownie (Captain)                                                 WD:  Bethany Sutherland

GD: Emily Nicholl                                                                       GD:  Katy Holland

GK: Nicole Aiken Pinnock                                                          GK:  Naida Hutchinson

 

Sirens started with an unchanged line up from their match against Team Bath with the team looking to build on their last performance. Both teams came out the blocks fast and strong, trading goal for goal for the first few minutes.  The defensive pressure being applied by Sirens was beginning to pay off forcing Storm into a held ball, however, Sirens were unable to convert on this occasion.  

 

Sirens defensive pressure continued, forcing Storm into some uncharacteristic errors. Sirens took advantage and settled into an 11-6 lead half way through the Quarter. With both teams then trading goal for goal Sirens kept their lead 17-12 with a few minutes to go.  However, with two back to back turnovers and converting their own centre passes, Storm finished the Quarter strong, pulling back to just a one goal difference. 

Quarter 1 Score: Sirens 17 – Surrey Storm 16

 

Both teams remain unchanged heading into the second Quarter, in what was to continue to be a hotly contested match.  With both sets of shooters on fire this quarter, and the ball moving through the court with speed and precision, the Emirates Arena crowd were being treated to some fantastic netball.

 

Sirens continued to apply their defensive pressure, and with key intercepts in the midcourt from Brownie and O’Hanlon, and some awesome shooting by Borrego, Sirens started to extend their lead.  Harris was working hard for Storm outside the circle, as Sirens looked to shut out opportunities for their opposition to feed into Craig.  Two flying interceptions from the stealth like hunter Aiken-Pinnock helped Sirens to further extend their lead, and as the first half comes to a close Sirens take a 6-goal lead into the break.

Half Time Score: Sirens 36 – Surrey Storm 30

 

Second half saw two changes for Storm with Dixon coming onto GA and Austin taking the C bib, as Sirens remain unchanged, this formula proving to work for the home side. Both teams came out strong in the third, and Sirens started the second half of the game exactly as they did in the first, extending their lead to 46-38.  However, the new combinations for Storm and the injection of pace and accurate passing into Craig, started to make an impact.  

 

Storm started to chip away at Sirens’ lead, and although Sirens were gaining turnover ball, they were unable to successfully convert. With a few minutes left in the quarter and Sirens leading 48-43, Sirens’ Nicholl leaves the court due to injury, with Moore-McGrath comes onto WD and Brownie moving back into the circle as GD.  As the quarter comes to a close, Storm take the Quarter 16-13 to narrow the gap to a 3-goal game, going into the final 15 minutes. The crowd at the Emirates Arena are on the edge of their seats!

Quarter 3 Score: Sirens 49- Surrey Storm 46

 

No changes for either team going into the final Quarter and it’s all to play for in this final 15 minutes. The crowd were being entertained with a fantastic and fiercely contested game!

 

Storm get two back to back goals from Dixon, bringing Storm to within one goal.  Some great end to end play from both teams keep the crowd on the edge of their seat.  Aiken-Pinnock with an awesome interception, and Borrego’s subsequent conversion raises the noise level of the home crowd, and further extends Sirens lead.  Defensively, Sirens continue to apply the pressure and a timely intercept from O’Hanlon, some fantastic attacking play and Halpenny sinking a long bomb, the home team create some breathing space as they extend their lead to 57-51.  Half way through the final 15 minutes, and Sirens are up by 9, with both teams fighting for every ball.  As the final whistle goes, Sirens come out with the win.

 

After the match, Sirens’ Head Coach Gail Parata said “Really proud of how we performed today.  Our focus was about our defence, and everyone being involved and working hard for each other for 60 minutes.  We really did that today. What was very pleasing was our patience in attack and the accuracy of our shooters.  We have been guilty in previous matches of too much turnover ball, but today our error rate was low.  

 

We still have a lot to work on, and we know we need to be at the top of our game in every match.”

 

Final Score: Sirens 65 – Surrey Storm 59

 

Viper 10 Player of the Match – Nicola McCleery

 

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