Sirens Looking to Get Gack to Winning Ways at Home on Double Header Weekend
30th April 2017
Following a tough match against Wasps Netball at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday, Sirens were looking to get back to winning ways at home against Team Northumbria. The last time these two teams met in Northumbria, Sirens took the win by 18, however since then both teams have experienced changes in their line ups through injuries, so a tough contest was expected. The Emirates crowd were in for a treat of some fantastic netball this holiday weekend.
|Starting Line Up: Sirens
GS: Carla Borrego
GS: Ellen Halpenny
WA: Nicola McCleery
C: Caroline O’Hanlon
WD: Claire Brownie (Captain)
GD: Hayley Mulheron
GK: Nicole Aiken Pinnock
GS: Tamsin Moala
GS: Chiara Semple
WA: Vicki Burgess
C: Brie Grierson
WD: Fionnula Toner
GD: Tuanne Keenan (Captain)
GK: Noleen Lennon
Sirens made one change to their starting line-up against Wasps, with Mulheron coming in to GD. As both teams settle into the match, they trade goals for a period with strong defensive pressure being applied throughout; an unforced error by Sirens allows Team Northumbria to take an early lead. As Team Northumbria lead by one, and with less than a minute left on the clock, a turnover by Sirens, allows Borrego to bring it level. This, followed by a quick centre pass, allows Halpenny to shoot and score as the buzzer for the end of the Quarter sounds.
Quarter 1 Score Sirens 16 – Team Northumbria 15
One change for Sirens as Nicholl replaces Mulheron at GD, whilst Team Northumbria make four changes to their line-up, with Keenan and Toner swapping positions, Moala moving to WA and Rowe coming onto GS.
Sirens settle quickly into the second quarter, with Nicholl applying some tight man to man defence, supporting Aiken-Pinnock to take an early intercept. Some smart attacking play and precision passing from Halpenny into Borrego gives Sirens a 3 goal lead. For a period it looks scrappy for both teams with multiple turnovers without any conversion, but as Sirens continue to apply their defensive pressure it allows the circle duo of Nicholl and Aiken-Pinnock to win balls that were then converted. As the half drew to a close, Sirens had extended their lead to 8 goals.
Half Time Score: Sirens 34 – Team Northumbria 26
The start of the second half saw no changes for Sirens, with four for Team Northumbria: Keenan moving back to GD, Bird to WD, Grierson to WA and Tonner moving to C, bringing her head to head with Northern Ireland Team-mate O’Hanlon.
Team Northumbria are called for delaying the start of the third Quarter, and possession converts to Sirens, who take advantage and score. The pressure being applied by both teams is impressive, but its Sirens who are on fire this Quarter and continue to extend their lead, with impressive attacking play and smart passing from O’Hanlon and Halpenny into anchor shooter Borrego, when turnovers gained.
During this period Sirens make two injury time changes with McCleery and Halpenny replaced by Moore-McGrath and Pettitt respectively. Although both take time to settle into this fast paced match, Sirens take the Quarter by an impressive 20 goals to 7.
Quarter 3 Score: Sirens 56 – Team Northumbria 33
As the final period commences, Team Northumbria make five changes, with Burgess to WA, Grierson to C, Keenan to GK, Moala to GS and Toner back to GD. Sirens remain unchanged.
An early steel from Semple claws back a goal for Team Northumbria, and further quick fire balls take the Quarter Score to 6-3 in favour of the visitors. Team Northumbria call injury time, with Moala replacing Bird, and Rowe coming back onto GS, with Sirens taking the opportunity to change their GK position, with Aiken-Pinnock heading to the bench and Mulheron coming back on.
This Quarter is closely contested, but Sirens remain focussed to ensure they close out the game. With a few minutes remaining, O’Hanlon calls time. Brownie moves to centre, which provides an opportunity for the home side to bring on their youngest athlete, 16-year old Antoine, for her home game Season debut in front of a packed and very supportive crowd at Emirates Arena. Antoine gets an early tip around the circle edge that allows her to settle quickly.
As the final whistle sounds, Sirens come out on top with an impressive 22 goal win which provides some confidence as they head into their match against League leaders Loughborough Lightning on Bank Holiday Monday, in the second instalment of this double header weekend.
Head Coach Gail Parata said after the game “Really pleased to get the win today, we really needed that. Some really good play from the whole team today at times, although we were a bit guilty of giving easy ball away, but on the whole, a really good display today. We had Carla at the back being a solid rock for us, and we had our defensive unit working tirelessly to win a lot of ball. Today we had 89 attempts which really shows we were in control. That said Team Northumbria are not a team that you would take lightly, and we certainly didn’t want to do that today – overall I am very pleased with our performance and to get another 3 points on the board. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our fans today, you guys were awesome, and hope that you can come along again on Monday to support us playing top of the league Loughborough Lightning.”
Final Score: Sirens 69 – Team Northumbria 47
Player of the Match: Ellen Halpenny