NSL 2024 MATCH REPORT Rd 13: LONDON PULSE 58 v SURREY STORM 53 

By Emma Ferns

It was another rollercoaster of a ride for the Pulse Family as London Pulse returned to their home at the CopperBox Arena to take the win 58-53 v Surrey Storm

After a strong start with Pulse pushing out a 5-0 lead, Surrey Storm fought back and in scenes familiar to the previous week’s game, Pulse took a slim lead into the first break 15-17.

The second quarter saw Storm up their game and a tied Q kept the gap at 2 going into the Half-time break with Pulse leading 32-30.

A strong half-time talk from coach Sam Bird and the injection of Darcie Everitt at GK, with Funmi and Zara Everitt pushing up a position, saw Pulse start the 3rd Quarter strong. Storm kept on battling and it was another tight Q.  Pulse extended their lead slightly to 4 but a tough final quarter was ahead.  It was here that the 2,500 strong crowd really played their part.  Chants of ‘London Pulse, London Pulse” echoed around the arena and they were in full voice for every Pulse turnover, dynamic run and pin point feed.

I’m really proud of their resilience and I felt that they worked out how to win which is a really good sign for us, commented head coach Sam Bird. “Darcie and Zara created space for Funmi to hunt the ball and she always delivers when she gets that space.”

“I want us to play this exciting brand of netball – when it’s good it’s really exciting.”

Yesterday’s win brings Pulse to Eight wins in a row, and they are level on points with Lightning and Thunder (Thunder have still to play round 13 so can pull 3 points clear with a win). The gap from 3rd to 4th (Severn Stars) now at 12 points and 3rd to 5th(Surrey Storm) at 15.

STORY OF THE GAME

With Halimat Adio unavailable for selection due to illness, there was a change to the starting 7 with Funmi starting at GK, Zara at GD and Izzi at WD.  The attacking lineup stayed the same as the previous game with Alicia at C, Nichole at WA, Berri at GA and Olivia at GS.

Pulse came out of the gates firing as has been the case in a number of games this season, turning ball and roaring to a 5 goal lead. The attack nailing everything, even the intercepts (we see you Berri!). 

Surrey Storm were ready for the fight though and not prepared to let Pulse run away with the quarter.  Strong play from the Storm attack saw them claw back the goals to go into the break only down by 2.

Q1: London Pulse 17-15 Surrey Storm

Storm came out strong to start the 2nd quarter and were quickly in the lead by 2 following an early 4 goal swing. Pulse know how to dig in though and the injection of Jade Clarke at C with 5 minutes gone in the quarter and Alicia Scholes switching to WA was immediately impactful.  It lifted the defense also with a huge defensive unit turnover followed by immense speed through court to work to goal.  With the scores back to level both Jade and Alicia were releasing ball with ease.

HT: London Pulse 32-30 Surrey Storm (15-15)

Knowing some more changes were needed, Sam Bird brought on the young defender Darcie Everitt  at GK and pushed Funmi to GD and Zara Everitt to WD.  The defensive change had instant impact with Zara and Funmi putting huge pressure on and Darcie out hunting, smothered the ball and it was worked to a Pulse goal.  

Darcie and Funmi then forced Storm into an error as they lost the ball of the backline and the speedy transition through court came out onto display.  Berri and Liv were happy to turn to post and shoot at every opportunity. 

Q3: London Pulse 45-41 Surrey Storm (13-11)

With the game still so closely contested it was clear the final quarter was going to be a huge one.  Everyone in the arena could feel it and the crowd roared into action to push their team on. 

Pulse pushed the lead out to 7 but again Storm showed they were not going down without a fight and clawed it back to within 2 with 7 left on the clock.  Izzi re-entered the game with 4 to go and the score even.  As Liv scored the crowd lifted further and did not back down.  As if like magic – Funmi did what Funmi does with a huge denial and suddenly Pulse were out by 3.

The final 2 minutes were all Pulse and the game ended with Fumni taking another intercept and Pulse taking the win by 5, 3 quarters won and 1 drawn.

FT: London Pulse 58-53 Surrey Storm (13-12)

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Darcie Everitt

Shooting Stats:

Olivia 93%

Berri 94%

Starting 7s

Pulse: GK – Fadoju; GD – Z Everitt; WD – Phillips; C – Scholes; WA – Taljaard; GA – Neil; GS – Tchine. Bench – D Everitt, McEachrane, Essam, Clarke, Autumn.

Surrey Storm: GK – Muhameedr; GD – Fee; WD – Howell; C – Harris; WA – Dix; GA – Drakeford-Lewis; GS – Peace. Bench – Gibbons, Wells, Wood, Harding

ROUND 12 – OTHER RESULTS & FIXTURES

Friday – Leeds Rhinos 59-49 Saracens Mavericks

Friday – Team Bath 51-76 Loughborough Lightning

Sunday– Strathclyde Sirens v Severn Stars

Sunday, – Manchester Thunder v Cardiff Dragons