20th April 2013
The Celtic Dragons carry on their Phase 2 Superleague campaign in winning form, blowing the Surrey Storm out of their own backyard in Guildford last night, 56 – 72.
Dragons continue to back up strong performance with strong performance this season, and are maturing with great self belief and solidarity.
Beginning the game with the first centre pass, which they scored from, Dragons immediately ‘broke serve’ of Surrey, turning over the possession and converting to another goal.
It was clear in the opening exchanges that both teams were especially hungry for the win, and there were several moments throughout the 60 minutes in which the ball had two pairs of hands clinging hard to it, as each player tried to pull it away from the other.
On one such occasion Umpire Gary Burgess was forced to carry out an old school style ‘toss up’ in order for play to continue.
Surrey’s Hannah Reid had a hard task of guarding goal against tall shooter Lottysha Cato, and several times Reid managed to intercept the high feeds to Cato, though not necessarily cleanly which was spotted by the umpires.
Despite Reid’s gallant efforts against a player several inches taller, Dragons surged ahead and were up by six goals at quarter time.
A change in mid court for Surrey Storm made little difference in their game plan overall, despite clawing back the deficit to five, as they let Dragons edge away again towards half time.
The second half displayed even hungrier appetites and the game was by no means concluded. Dragons shone in the basics across all areas of the court, executing powerful, pinpoint passing, and clever 1-2s between each other, notably Sara Hale to Kyra Jones, and Emma Thomas to Cato.
GD Stephanie Williams also continued her good form as a silent but deadly defensive force.
Storm added defender Natalie Seaton into the mix in the final quarter at GD, in the hope that Seaton’s springy agility could run circles around the Dragons attack, but the plan didn’t work.
Dragons continued to hunt down intercepts, converting turnovers to eventually take the Storm scalps by 16 goals, and Cato signed the deal on the final whistle with Dragons’ 72nd goal.
Storm Coach Tamsin Greenway spoke with respect of her opponent’s form, saying that Celtic (and Bath) are playing really well, but she was “not at all happy” about her own team’s performance.
“We’re throwing too much ball away, against Bath we made 52 errors. Anybody who knows about Netball knows that that is ridiculous.
“I’m guessing we’re going to be pretty high in the error rate tonight, you do that you’re going to lose against two teams that have quality that are going to keep scoring the goals against you.”
Greenway will address the issue of errors with her players: “It’s that fine line between believing in themselves and having a look and being honest as well.”
Melissa Hyndman didn’t make any changes to the starting seven, who played as a complete team unit, and she is clearly happy with how the line is shaping up.
“As we said at half time, believe in what we are doing, believe in ourselves as a team and let’s get out there in front because we deserve to be.”
Hyndman felt the team were a little apprehensive at times but admired their strength.
“They were hunting. The girls are fit enough and strong enough to handle it.”
“I’ve got lots of change ups that I can do, I’m just taking each game as it comes. I know who my line ups are and I play it accordingly. Will it be the same? We’ve got a tight turn around with Bath on Monday and it will be different.”
“We are just happy to be here. “Do we deserve to be second on the table? Yes we do because we are playing extremely well at the moment.”
Quarter 1: Surrey Storm 13, Celtic Dragons 19
Quarter 2: Surrey Storm 27, Celtic Dragons 37
Quarter 3: Surrey Storm 41, Celtic Dragons 54
Quarter 4: Surrey Storm 56, Celtic Dragons 72
Surrey Storm: GS Rachel Dunn, GA Ash Neal, WA Jo Davidson, C Becky Trippick (Captain), WD Natalie Seaton, GD Katy Holland, GK Hannah Reid
Celtic Dragons: GS Lottysha Cato, GA Emma Thomas, WA Cara Moseley, C Suzy Drane (co-captain), WD Kyra Jones, GD Stephanie Williams, GK Sara Hale (co-captain)