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Round 16: Strathclyde Sirens delight fans with first home win on day 2 of the BIG Easter Weekend

23rd April 2019

It was a happy Easter Sunday for Strathclyde Sirens who saw off London Pulse for a first home win of the season at the Big Easter Weekend.

In their second game of the weekend Sirens overcame a first-quarter deficit to win 47-44 at the Emirates Arena.

Coach Gail Perata named an unchanged starting seven from Saturday’s loss to Loughborough Lightning and her faith paid off as the likes of Emma Barrie and player of the match Hayley Mulheron put in impressive performances.

Q1 – After Sirens’ first centre pass Emma Barrie picked up from where she left off yesterday with three quick goals before Lynsey Gallagher took advantage of Emily Nicholl’s interception and notched her first of the day, opening up a four-point lead inside three minutes. But London hit back as goal shooter and ex Siren Shantal Slater got into a rhythm followed by an impressive goal from the edge of the circle from goal attack Chiara Semple. Semple found the target several more times as Pulse took the lead on seven minutes. Sirens had a chance to level the scoring in the final minute but a couple of miscommunications in attack led to turnovers and Pulse finished the first period ahead. 13-15

Q2 – A foul from Pulse in the opening seconds gifted possession to the Glasgow side and Barrie made no mistake to convert. That was followed by a Sirens centre pass which Gallagher converted from to tie the game. A foul on Gia Abernethy which prompted the use of a sweat towel created a chance for Gallagher who put Sirens in front once again. Sirens went further ahead while on the defensive side they stayed strong as Hayley Mulheron made a flying block to prevent the ball from reaching Slater, before she then forced a miss and grabbed the rebound. Barrie kept up the scoring and opened a sizeable gap of eight points between the two teams. Sirens needed to respond after going behind in the previous quarter and they sure enough did as Gallagher made it a double-digit lead at the buzzer.

HALF-TIME: 31-21

Q3 – An interception from Mulheron after London’s centre pass put Sirens on the front foot straight away before Gallagher was pulled up for feet just a step away from the goal and Pulse managed to score. Pulse came firing back with a pair of interceptions and made it count in attack as goal shooter scored four times in succession. The third quarter was characterised by several needless technical fouls which hampered Sirens’ offensive efforts, as they went around five minutes without a goal, and allowed the away team a route back into the game. But in the closing minutes Barrie and Gallagher came into their own while it was London’s turn to get sloppy in front of goal. 39-34

Q4 – Slater started the quarter well for London as she scored twice but the game followed a familiar pattern of unforced technical fouls and Sirens had the ball back. Bethan Goodwin came on at goal shooter and she wasted no time in getting her first goal of the game. She added another from range to extend Sirens’ lead. Mulheron then made another crucial interception, this time getting her fingertips to a wayward pass and tipping it into the hands of Ella Gibbons. Moments later it was Nicholl’s turn to contribute with a flying interception out wide. Pulse just refused to give up however and the deficit was only three points in the closing stages. But Goodwin made the result beyond any doubt when she grabbed Gallagher’s miss and hit the target in the last minute.

FINAL: 47-44

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.

Report written by Steven Mair @smair47