Match Report: VNSL Round 4 V Strathclyde Sirens

A competitive London Pulse side is still looking for consistency across four quarters after a hard-fought 35-30 loss to the Strathclyde Sirens at Studio 001, Wakefield, on Sunday.

Both sides were able to get hands over the ball applying across court pressure from the opening whistle, however, penalties and errors cruelled Pulse’s chances of completing a stunning comeback.

The first quarter was a goal-for-goal affair as Head Coach Sam Bird opted for a young, fast and furious defensive line with Zara Everitt, Funmi Fadoju and Hamimat Adio. The talented trio were able to stifle the Sirens’ attack on several occasions, winning crucial ball back for the front line.

There were some moments of sheer brilliance as Pulse fell behind 8-9 at the first break.

Despite a competitive opener, the second and third quarters saw crucial mistakes and a rising penalty account saw Sirens begin to pull ahead of the central London side.

A four-goal lead for the Scots at halftime saw Bird opt for Lindsay Keable and Fadoju in the circle, while Olivia Tchine, Lefébre Rademan and Ashleigh Dekker were brought on to change up the attack.

While there were signs of a Pulse comeback, it wouldn’t eventuate in the third quarter as Sirens led by nine at the final change.

A host of mistakes from Sirens suddenly thrust Pulse back into contention for the win as time ticked down in the last quarter.

An errorless run saw Pulse in touching distance, down by five and a centre pass. A missed shot stemmed the comeback as Sirens got back to a seven-goal lead with a few minutes remaining.

London Pulse Head Coach Sam Bird said there were still positives to find, despite a tough start to the Pulse’s 2021 VNSL campaign.

“Going into the bye this weekend we know we have a number of things to work on. We will regroup but we need to find our connections throughout the court,” she said.

“We showed moments of great play, but it came down to consistency again. We need to go out there and keep the pressure up across four quarters.

“We did make a number of changes and I am hoping players start to put out strong performances and make the bib their own.”

The VNSL goes into a league-wide bye this weekend.