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Round 15: Strathclyde Sirens fail to clinch the win after a gutsy performance on Day 1 of the BIG Easter Weekend

20th April 2019

17-year-old Emma Barrie stole the show for Strathclyde Sirens despite a loss in the first day of the Big Easter Weekend.

Sirens fell to a 44-59 defeat to Loughborough Lightning at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow’s East End on Day 1 of the BIG Easter Weekend.

But despite the loss, Barrie shone as a rising star in Scottish netball as Loughborough’s tough defence found her impossible to deal with.

And she said: “We started really well, Loughborough are always going to be a hard team but we gave a great performance and that’s all you can really do.

“It was a good experience, their defence was really tough and they’ve got a good jump.

Q1 – Emma Barrie in goal shooter got off to a magical start as she drained her first eight shots while some great goal keeping from Hayley Mulheron kept Lightning goal shooter Mary Cholhok out up the other end. Sturdy defence meant a number of early turnovers for the away side as Sirens led for the majority of the quarter. Barrie, only 17, made an excellent early impression as her movement and physicality was too much for goal keeper Tuaine Keenan to contend with. As the quarter drew to a close Cholhok got into a scoring rhythm just as Sirens began to struggle on the goalscoring front and Lightning pulled in front. Lynsey Gallagher ended the drought as Barrie finally missed a shot after 14 minutes. 12-14

Q2 – There was little by way of attacking slickness from either team as the second period began with both sides’ shooters starved of service. Nevertheless Emma Barrie still managed to pick up from where she left off with a couple of goals to keep the Glaswegians within touching distance. Lightning managed to score every time the ball reached Cholhok but such was the inaccuracy of their passing that turned out to be a rarity. Sirens meanwhile had better luck getting the ball out wide and then working it back inside to the long reach of Barrie. She struck after a hard foul on Boyle before Lightning beat the buzzer at the end of the half.


Q3 – A series of niggly fouls presented Loughborough with easy chances to score which Cholhok did not pass up, allowing the away team to go further in front. Mid-way through the quarter Cholhok grabbed a rebound after Ella Clark’s miss to make it a double-digit lead as the fourth-placed team began to really pull away. The introduction of Ella Gibbons at goal defence instantly proved a great decision from coach Gail Perata as Sirens forced a pass aimed for Cholhok out of bounds. Two quick goals from Barrie reduced the deficit back down to single digits before Sirens again converted their own centre pass then forced a miss from Cholhok to give them a fighting chance going into the final quarter, 33-41.

Q4 – Gallagher took advantage of a foul in the circle to convert on the second attempt before Barrie hit the net twice. But then Loughborough’s substitute goal defence Zara Everitt pulled off two incredible steals which killed Sirens’ attacking momentum and led to goals up the other end of the court as Lightning regained their double-figures advantage. Mid-way through the quarter the umpires called on team captains Claire Maxwell and Nat Panagarry to cool things down as a tough and physical game threatened to boil over. Niamh McCall entered the game in goal attack in the closing stages and she partnered up well with Barrie to keep up the scoring. However the defence couldn’t match up against Cholhok who was able to grab her own miss to score on more than one occasion.

FINAL: 44-59

Strathclyde Sirens starting seven: GS Emma Barrie, GA Lynsey Gallagher, WA Nicola McCleery, C Gia Abernethy, WD Claire Maxwell, GD Emily Nicholl, GK Hayley Mulheron.

Loughborough Lightning starting seven: GS Mary Cholhok, GA Ella Clark, WA Hannah Joseph, C Nat Panagarry, WD Zara Everitt, GD Vicki Oyesola, GK Tuaine Keenan.

Image credit: Ben Lumley Photography

Match report by Steven Mair @smair47