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Round 7: UWS Sirens start strong but fail to clinch the home win in front of packed Emirates Arena crowd

18th March 2018

UWS Sirens start strong but fail to clinch the home win in front of a packed Emirates Arena crowd.
Starting 7: Slater GS, Gallagher GA, McCleery WA, Bayman C, Brownie WD, Kennedy GD, Aiken Pinnock GK.
UWS Sirens headed into their second home game of the season needing to come out of the blocks strong and hard after a strong of inconsistent starts in recent games – and that’s exactly what they did.
The first five minutes sees both teams trade goals and a fabulous intercept from Leah Kennedy brings the game level at 6 all. Unforced errors allow Stars to take a four goal lead but Sirens pull it back to 1 with 90 seconds to go.
An error from Gallagher gives Stars the turnover they need to edge ahead by four goals at the end of the first quarter.
Q1 score: SIR 13 – 17 STA
With no changes made by Coach Dearns, Bayman takes the first centre pass of the second quarter. A miss by Gallagher allows Stars to add another to their tally. Aiken Pinnock, Kennedy and Brownie work tirelessly in defence but the shooter connections in the UWS Sirens circle are just not firing and Stars stretch their lead to 8 with 10 minutes to go. Kudos to Stars’ Sam Cook who applies pressure and forces another circle turnover allowing her shooters to capitalise.
Emily Nicholl comes on for Kennedy at GD and immediately makes an impact with a great intercept (perfectly enabled by Aiken Pinnock) which Gallagher converts. Goals are traded and with 4 minutes to go the deficit is reduced to 6. The South African Maweni forces a turnover and UWS Sirens are unable to utilise the high ball into their circle.
Vanessa Walker makes her entry into the game with 2 minutes 30 to go replacing Gallagher at GA but fails to receive the long bomb feed. The long bomb does however work for Stars and they extend their lead at half time to 11.
Q2 score: SIR 22 – 33 STA
Once again Bayman starts the quarter off with a centre pass recieved confidently by McCleery. Walker and Slater connect well with a couple of shooter to shooter passes but the shooting percentages at this point of 69% to 85% highlight why the score line is currently 24-37.
The 1200 strong home crowd get behind their team with drums and Saltires, while the music blares as UWS Sirens hit 7 from 7 and confidence grows during the middle of this quarter.
Stars hold their nerve and capitalise on a couple of UWS Sirens errors to close out the quarter 16 up.
Q3 score: SIR 35 – 51 STA
We’ve had the rub of the first centre passes each quarter and Bayman gets the 4th quarter underway with a revamped attacking end of Sam Murphy who comes in as WA and Gallagher back at GA.
Defensive pressure by Bethany Sutherland, who makes her entrance into the game at GD, and rebounds by Aiken-Pinnock give UWS Sirens two turnovers they need to boost some momentum into their game. The score line sits at 38-52.
An abundance of skills on show from both teams in the final 10 minutes, including a Sutherland intercept, a jump tip from Cook, and an over the head pass from Gallagher to Slater which sees UWS Sirens hitting the net.
Kennedy returns for the last 4 minutes of the game but Stars’ lead of 20 goals remains until the full time whistle.
Head Coach Tanya Dearns said: “We worked really hard on our starts. We started well, we converted what we needed to convert. However, we’re making our own mistakes. We were making poor decisions under pressure and getting anxious around the fact we hadn’t scored in a while. We’re much better than a 20 goal deficit.”
Lead Kennedy said: “We had a good start, our stats in the first quarter were really positive and we need to focus on building upon initial successes. What we need to work on is our error rate. We definitely lost that game ourselves but we will regroup and pick up on this following Commonwealth Games.”
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