Match Report: London Pulse Vs Celtic Dragons
London Pulse earned their first win of the season with a dominating performance against Celtic Dragons in Round 6. This fiercely fought contest saw both teams playing with huge amounts of energy and passion with Pulse coming out on top with a convincing 27 goal win.
Pulse took an early lead in the first quarter, and the impact of Funmi Fadjou at wing defence was causing all sorts of headaches for the Dragons attack end who took a while to settle into the game. The Pulse attack were finding their connections with ease and they took the lead 4-0 with Dragons taking over three minutes to score their first goal. As the quarter progressed, Dragons started to find their flow and rhythm in attack and went on a five-goal run to bring the score back with within two. Both sides started to suss out their opposition and Pulse went into the first break with a slim four-goal advantage, leading by 13 goals to 9.
In the second quarter, London Pulse came out firing and stamped their authority on the game. Forcing multiple errors from the Dragons attack end, Pulse were able to extend to a 10 goal lead and were relentless in their attack of the ball, finding Sigi Burger with ease under the post. Dragons were having issues finding access to their shooters with Pulse smothering in defence and not giving Dragons an inch. Pulse continued to punish, with Kira Rothwell shooting accurately from range, and they took the score out to 29-11 with three minutes to go in the first half. A change in Dragons defensive end saw Annika Lee-Jones head to the bench, but the creativity from the Pulse attack was able to pull apart the new Dragons defensive line and they continued to be relentless at the post. With Dragons struggling to find structure in attack they score a season-low three goals in the second quarter with Pulse going into the break leading by 21 goals.
Pulse continued their fine form in the third quarter and Dragons had to work hard to find easy access to goal. The defensive unit from Dragons were putting pressure on the Pulse frontline and creating opportunities but the Dragons attacking end were being halted by the work of defensive powerhouses Adio, Keable and Fadoju. With the scoreline extending to 40-16, Dragons were facing an uphill battle and struggling to convert. As the quarter progressed they started to find better ball speed on transitions, but things were still not quite falling into place for the Welsh side. Pulse were doing the basics well and treasuring possession, and had not skipped a beat despite bringing on a brand new shooting combination of Tchine and Rademan. Pulse maintained their comfortable lead and went into the final break ahead by 43-21.
Rebekah Robinson continued to work hard for Dragons in attack in the fourth quarter, but unfortunately the team around her were lacking in consistency. This was credit to the persistence of the Pulse defence with Halimat Adio picking up a huge amount of turnover ball. Pulse continued to apply scoreboard pressure, pushing the scoreline out to 50 – 25 with just over 6 minutes still to play. Errors from Dragons were being exposed by the ruthless Pulse defence, led by Funmi Fadoju who was a force to be reckoned with. Dragons were unable to find any answers for the well-drilled London side, and Pulse took the win 56 – 29. The final quarter also saw the debuts of Monique Thompson and Isabel Stibbs.
It was a very strong performance by London Pulse, and their structures throughout the court clicked into place allowing them to put out their most consistent and high scoring performance of the season so far. Atlantic House Investments Player of the Match went to Funmi Fadoju, credit to her tenacious performance and her ability to create turnover after turnover for her team. Pulse face Saracens Mavericks on Sunday and will be looking to take the confidence and learnings from this match into the next round.