Sirens’ return to home venue with an emphatic win
3rd April 2017
Sirens returned to the Emirates Arena following five matches away from home, looking to put out a good performance against a strong Team Bath side in front of their home support. The atmosphere was electric as the 1,000 strong crowd had waited over a month to see their team live in action again, following the season opener against Wasps, and they were not to be disappointed as they were in for an amazing night of netball action.
Claire Brownie (Captain)
Nicole Aiken Pinnock
Eboni Beckford-Chambers (Captain)
Sirens started with an unchanged line up from Monday’s match against Severn Stars, with the team looking to put out an improved and more consistent performance. First quarter both teams started strong, trading goals for the majority of the 15 minutes in a hotly contested first period.
Interceptions at key moments from O’Hanlon and Nicholl as a result of some tenacious team defence, gave Sirens the edge as they converted from the opportunities gained. Shooting from both teams was accurate throughout the quarter, with Sirens taking an early lead.
Quarter 1 Score Sirens 15 – Team Bath 10
Having made some changes at Quarter time, with Allison moving to C, Sam Cook coming onto GD and Guscoth moving across to WD, Team Bath came out fighting with a very strong start to the second Quarter. Sirens remained unchanged.
The defensive pressure applied by Team Bath, especially in the midcourt area, was starting to pay off with intercepts by Guscoth and Allison being converted by their clinical shooters. Sirens struggled at points to get the ball through the court, and with both teams working tirelessly for each other, it was Team Bath who came out on top in this Quarter to take it 17-10.
Half Time Score: Sirens 25 – Team Bath 27
Second half saw changes for both teams, with Fiona Moore-McGrath coming onto WA for Sirens, and Team Bath’s Lewis moving back to GS, Shaw moving to GA and Mia Ritchie coming on to WA. Sirens were looking to turn the score back in their favour and came out ready to take on the challenge. The crowd were being treated to a fantastic game of netball and the home support were behind their team all the way.
Moore-McGrath made an immediate impact linking well with Borrego. Sirens drew level at 29-29 with both teams trading goal for goal for a period in what was a fiercely challenged match.
Sirens team defence were putting Team Bath under an enormous amount of pressure, and with defensive rebounds at key points from Nicholl and Aiken-Pinnock, Sirens crept into the lead with Halpenny taking it to a 3-goal game. Team Bath’s Shaw struggled with her move to the GA position, which Sirens capitalised on, and with a flying intercept from Aiken-Pinnock that pleased the crowd no end, Sirens ran out convincing winners of this Quarter 15-10, setting up what would be a fantastic final Quarter.
Quarter 3 Score: Sirens 40- Team Bath 37
An unchanged Sirens team took to court, with Team Bath making some final adjustments to their line up hoping to turn the game in their favour with Slater coming back onto GS, Lewis back out to GA and Shaw to WA.
Again, both teams were goal for goal until an awesome cross court steal again from Aiken-Pinnock allowed Sirens to stretch their lead to 48-40. Team Bath call time, with Cook leaving the court and Ritchie moving to C, and two quick goals for the visiting side took the score to 48-42. Brownie again tenacious in defence takes a fantastic intercept, but Sirens unable to convert and Team Bath take their opportunity. The home crowd were getting behind their team with only a few minutes remaining, and with Aiken-Pinnock taking another intercept this time Sirens convert to lead 49-43.
As the final whistle goes Sirens come away with their first home win, in what was a fantastic game of netball.
Gail Parata, Sirens Head Coach said after the match “I’m very pleased with our performance tonight. One of the things that I spoke about in our pre-match meeting was that I wanted a performance that we could be proud of, a consistent one, and we did just that. We did get a little bit static at points, but I am really pleased how we held the lead and pushed forward on it. The fans really helped us get across the line tonight, and I am really looking forward to our next match, again at home against Surrey Storm”.
Sirens Captain and Player of the Match Claire Brownie said “I’m extremely proud of the team’s performance tonight, we showed great mental toughness and resilience against an experienced Team Bath. We loved being back at home after a tough 5 weeks on the road, and the support we had was amazing, the crowd definitely helped us across the line tonight!”
Final Score: Sirens 51- Team Bath 45
The Sirens Viper 10 Player of the Match – Claire Brownie
Photography credit: Douglas L Jardine Photography.