Sirens Mean Business as They Take on League Leaders Loughborough Lightning at Home
2nd May 2017
Sirens were looking to build on their impressive win against Team Northumbria in this second instalment of the double header weekend against top of the table Loughborough Lightning. Having been beaten for the first time on Saturday by Wasps, Lightning were out to put in a top performance to solidify their top spot, and the Emirates crowd were not to be disappointed by tonight’s exciting game.
|Starting Line Up: Sirens
GS: Carla Borrego
GA: Jo Pettitt
WA: Nicola McCleery
C: Caroline O’Hanlon
WD: Claire Brownie (Captain)
GD: Hayley Mulheron
GK: Nicole Aiken Pinnock
|Starting Line Up: Loughborough Lightning
GS: Peace Proscovia
GA: Ella Clark
WA: Vanessa Walker
C: Natalie Pangarray (Captain)
WD: Beth Cobden
GD: Vicky Oyesola
GK: Jo Trip
Sirens made one change to their starting line-up against Team Northumbria with Jo Pettit coming in for the injured Ellen Halpenny in the GA position. Sirens took the game to Lightning from the first whistle, and after an even start, Sirens quickly take the lead with some tenacious defensive play. An impressive rebound from Aiken-Pinnock, following a missed shot from Proscovia, is converted by Borrego. Following another turnover, Sirens race into an 8-4 lead half way through the first Quarter.
The competitiveness from both team is there for all to see, and no one would expect anything less. This opening quarter sees Sirens on the front foot with some dominating play and they quickly extend their lead to 16-8 with a couple of minutes on the clock. A turnover by Lightning quickly followed by their centre pass brings the first Quarter to a close with Sirens up by 6.
Quarter 1 Score Sirens 16 – Loughborough Lightning 10
No changes for Sirens at the commencement of the second fifteen minutes, but Lightning make two changes with Harris coming off the bench to C and Panagarry replacing Walker at WA.
The start of this Quarter continues in the same vein as the first ended, with each team trading goal for goal. However, some immense defensive pressure applied by Sirens sees some errors creeping into Lightning’s game and Sirens capitalise to take it to an 8 point game, as they lead 20-12.
Midway through the second quarter Pettitt calls time and is replaced by Gallagher. Its takes a few minutes for Gallagher to settle into this match, which is being played with such intensity and commitment to the ball, but some unforced errors by Sirens in bringing the ball through the court provides some momentum for Lightning to get some points on the board. Lightning score 8 goals without response from Sirens, levelling the game at 20 goals each. Sirens regain some composure and get the ball to Borrego to get some more points on the board, but as the half time whistle goes it’s a one goal game, as Lightning take the Quarter by 5.
Half Time Score: Sirens 25 – Loughborough Lightning 24
Both Teams remain unchanged at the start of the third Quarter, and it’s a scrappy few minutes with only one goal being scored by Borrego, as the ball is turned over by both teams without any conversions. Once both teams settle, they trade goal for goal. At 31-30 to Sirens, injury time is called and McCleery is replaced by Moore-McGrath at WA.
Lightning seem to be settling better in this Quarter, and with some precision shooting from the visitors with Clark and Proscovia combining so well in the circle they start to put the pressure on Sirens.
Sirens start to struggle to bring the ball through the court, and with multiple turnovers and pickups from some stressed through court attacking play by Sirens, Lightning start to pull away and rack up some goals. As the third Quarter ends the visitors have opened up an 8-goal lead and turned the game in their favour. It was all to play for in the last Quarter.
Quarter 3 Score: Sirens 35 – Loughborough Lightning 43
No changes for either team as the match heads into the final 15 minutes. Some fantastic defensive pressure from both Moore-McGrath and a big defensive tip by Aiken-Pinnock provides Sirens some early opportunities to close the gap on the visitors, and as they bring it to a 6-goal game, the noise of the crowd intensifies. Some missed opportunities to add to our score from Borrego and with the rebounds won by Lightning, they quickly executed their opportunities, and start to demonstrate why they are top of the league. With 5 minutes left on the clock, Aiken-Pinnock takes another steal for the home team to convert, but it remains a 9-goal advantage to the visitors.
As the final whistle goes, it Lightning who take the game by 11.
Head Coach Gail Parata said after the game “We started off really well, I was pleased with our start. We knew that Loughborough would come back at us in the second quarter, and we tried to hold them off, but we weren’t able to do that. We had our opportunities, and I think we only had one less attempt than them overall so we were right in there with them, but to let the score go out to 11 goals is disappointing.
We weren’t having our best shooting game tonight, and we were struggling to get the ball to our circle and guilty of throwing ball away. That’s why Loughborough are at the top of the table, because they play good netball like we saw today, and they play a very physical game with our shooters getting really hustled in there.
Thanks to all of our Sirens fans for coming out to support us tonight, and sorry we couldn’t take the win for you. We hope to see you on the 15th May when we take on Severn Stars”
Final Score: Sirens 46 – Loughborough Lightning 57
Viper 10 Player of the Match: Nicole Aiken-Pinnock