Apr 27, 2021
London Pulse and Wasps ended Round 12 of the Vitality Netball Superleague on a high note with victories over Surrey Storm and Severn Stars respectively at the Copper Box Arena.
Pulse had to dig deep in the latter stages against Storm, but Wasps led Stars from start to finish in the earlier of the two matches at Superleague's new temporary home in London.
In the final match of Round 12, Copper Box Arenas home team, London Pulse played Surrey Storm and they both delivered another outstanding derby and it took a final-quarter comeback from Pulse to secure a 43-41 victory.
Head Coach Sam Bird's Pulse went into the fourth quarter 32-31 down and showed their character to overcome a Storm side that had produced one of their strongest performances of the season.
Ahead of the contest, the air crackled with excitement as the two rivals prepared themselves for another tense derby and, from the first whistle, both sets of players went hard at each other.
Emma Magee was instrumental in the Storm attack and they confidently pressed 16-11 in front. Bird's young Pulse side kept cool heads, though, and used the latter stages of the half to erase the deficit and ensure it was level at 21-21 at half-time.
Storm kept their line-up unchanged for the third quarter, but the introduction by Pulse of Lindsay Keable and Funmi Fadoju at GD and WD became instrumental
From the outset, the duo - and Pulse's whole defensive unit - worked tirelessly to pressurise Storm. However, they found themselves on the wrong side of umpire Gary Burgess, who cautioned them and then elevated that to a warning.
With the next level of sanction being time off court for a player, Pulse had to keep their discipline in check and Storm used their nous to move one ahead.
As the final quarter played out it remained tight, with turnovers being replicated by Alima Priest and Keable at both ends.
But Pulse had one last flourish in them and, assisted by the accuracy and creativity of Sigi Burger, they were able to secure an outstanding derby victory at the death.
The rest of the weekend games saw wins for Team Bath, Strathclyde Sirens, Leeds Rhinos Netball, Loughborough Lightning and Wasps
The Vitality Netball Superleague continues on Friday with Round 13 and the start of a 10-match weekend, with games starting on Friday all the way through to Monday, all the games are live from the Copper Box Arena and on Sky Sports and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.