Liskeard Cougars met with current Division 6 leaders for their opening game of the season. Unbeaten Storm were keen to hang onto their 100% record and with Cougars determined to make a good impression on new coach Rudi Britz the scene was set for an energetic and fast paced match.
Storm made the best start, intercepting some loose passes in the centre court to go a few goals ahead. Cougars settled but Storm continued to dominate and extended their early lead to end the first quarter 9 - 4.
Cougars rallied early in the second quarter thanks to some excellent link play between Elliot and Howe feeding the ball quickly into the circle for Ford and GA Louise Piner to convert. However, a lapse in concentration towards the end of the quarter let Storm back in and they once again extended their lead, finishing the first half 18 - 12.
Drinkell and Finch worked hard at the start of the third quarter to limit Storm’s shooting opportunities and forcing them to make errors in the shooting circle before Drinkell had to come after aggravating an old knee injury resulting in Lynn Webb taking the GK bib. Cougars maintained pressure on the Storm side throughout the penultimate quarter with some excellent shooting from Ford and Piner and it was all to play for going into the last 21 - 19.
Storm started the 4th quarter the more determined but Cougars soon focussed matching goal for goal in a very exciting 15 minutes. Howe and WD Thomas defended well with Webb and Finch making the Storm shooters work hard. Unfortunately for Cougars the damage had been done in the first half and Storm emerged the victors of a very close hard fought match, winning the game 27 - 25.
Congratulations to Lynn Webb and fellow debutant Emma Thomas who will make excellent additions to the Cougars team this season and a huge well done to Vicky Ford and Louise Piner whose superb play throughout earned them joint player of the match.
Photographs by Andrew Trenoweth