LNC COUGARS 38, STORM  32
Having narrowly lost their opening game to Storm 4, Cougars knew it would be a competitive encounter. After a nervy opening 5 minutes Storm pulled ahead capitalising on some Cougar handling errors. The home side settled toward the end of the quarter though and pulled the deficit back to within 2 goals to trail 6 - 8.
Rachael Congdon came on at GD at the start of the second period. Cougars upped their game but were matched by a determined Storm. It went goal for goal for most of the period but thanks to some superb long shots from GS Vicky Ford finding the net, Cougars won the quarter 10 - 7 to lead by 1 goal at half time.
Coach Rudi Britz was keen for the players to maintain their momentum going into the 3rd quarter and brought Kirstie Chappell on at GS and Amelia Bridges to GD. Cougars were quick to settle and WA Kerry Elliot and C Siobhan Howe worked around the circle with class feeding in quality balls to the two Cougar Shooters. It was Cougars’ best period of play with some excellent defending by WD Louise Piner cutting off the supply of balls into the Storm Goal third. Bridges and GK Debbie Drinkell reduced the visitors shooting options and the whole team worked hard to progress the ball up the court. Cougars won the quarter 12 - 6, giving them a 7 goal lead going into the last.
Lynn Webb came on at GK for the start of the final quarter and as expected Storm came out determined to claw back the deficit, challenging for every ball. The visitors pegged the lead back to 3 goals but GA Emma Thomas and GS Chappell kept their nerve and Cougars were able to close out the game winners at 38 – 32.
Britz was delighted with his team’s performance against a quality opposition, congratulating them for working hard at the set plays practised in training and awarding Player of the Match to Emma Thomas.
Pictures by Glen Rogers