Wasps 76 – 42 Storm
Wasps Netball moved into first position in the Vitality Netball Superleague with a dominant 76-42 win against Surrey Storm.
Mel Mansfield’s side were firing on all cylinders from the first centre-pass and never trailed in the game.
The hosts used all 12 of their players in the win as they prepare to face Celtic Dragons in the second part of the Easter weekend double-header at Ricoh Arena tomorrow (2pm centre-pass).
Mansfield said: “We’ve been looking at improving our starts and it all clicked today, we started brilliantly and it set the tone for the rest of the game.
“It was the perfect game for us in terms of getting all of our squad out on the court, which was the ideal scenario as we turn our attentions to the Celtic Dragons fixture.
“Jade Clarke was exceptional for us, she was so quick with the ball and her performance was vital in getting our attack going.
“The confidence levels in the squad are really high right now. We’ll focus on the Dragons match now, we don’t underestimate any team in this league and this next match is really important for us.”
Storm started the match with an opening possession turnover and Wasps took advantage to take the lead.
The Black and Golds rushed out to an early six-goal lead. Wasps benefited from mistakes by the visitors, who took five minutes to open their own account through Sigi Burger’s goal.
Fran Williams enjoyed a brilliant first-quarter, producing two interceptions as Wasps stretched their advantage to double figures.
Hannah Knights and Williams continued to disrupt the Storm attack, winning the ball back on multiple occasions – with Rachel Dunn in clinical shooting form at the other end.
Tamsin Moala was introduced for the second-quarter and linked up well with Rachel Dunn to score the first goal of the quarter.
Wasps were firing on all cylinders and played with real confidence throughout quarter two, as Storm struggled to handle the hosts’ fast-paced attack.
Sam May joined the action at Goal Keeper with the Black and Golds leading by 18. Storm rallied to close the half and benefited from good ball movement, but the visitors were unable to significantly reduce Wasps’ lead.
Mansfield utilised her squad’s depth at half-time, with Beth Dix and Josie Huckle introduced from the bench.
But it was Storm who saw the best of the early third-quarter play, finding their shooters in space and scoring two quickfire goals.
Dix impressed in the mid-court in her second Superleague appearance and linked up well with fellow rising star Chloe Essam as Wasps took back control.
The hosts had stretched their advantage to 24 goals by the start of the fourth-quarter.
Wasps continued to press on and showed no sign of letting up during the final quarter, as Moala replaced Dunn at Goal Shooter.
The home side needed to win by 31 goals to leapfrog league leaders Thunder and reached the magic number in the final-quarter, coming away as eventual 76-42 victors.
Player of the match: Rachel Dunn
Wasps starting seven: GK Hannah Knights; GD Fran Williams; WD Amy Flanagan; C Jade Clarke; WA Bongi Msomi; GA Katie Harris; GS Rachel Dunn
Used substitutes: Tamsin Moala (GA/GS); Josie Huckle (GK); Beth Dix (WA); Chloe Essam (GA); Sam May (GK/WD).