Storm ready to challenge for Winter League title after statement win in opening match
After coming from behind to secure an exciting win over North Village Community Club Lady Rams in senior action at the Winter Netball League opener last weekend, Storm captain Debre Evans is sounding a warning to their rivals as the season gets set to continue tomorrow at the same venue.
The Storm chipped away at a five-point deficit in the closing stages of the contest to beat NVCC 33-32 at Bernard Park in the league’s first match since the Covid-19 pandemic forced a near two year hiatus.
In the other Senior League encounter, Phoenix Heat were given a 20-0 victory by default, after Docksiders failed to show up for their match-up.
For Evans, Saturday’s win was even more exciting, given the adversity that her team was forced to overcome in order to get the result.
With several key players missing in action, the Storm arrived for their match with just enough players to start the game.
Under-17 player Amaya Burt was eventually brought up to strengthen the numbers and provide support.
In the end, it was 15 year-old Burt, who became the scorer in chief for the Storm, scoring thirteen goals, with Kaamilah Nasir, eleven goals and Zakiyah Durham, who added nine goals, providing support.
Darrika Simons helped herself to nineteen goals in a losing effort for the Lady Rams, while Jordyn Morris, who scored twelve, also got in among the goals.
For Evans, the writing is already on the way for what she expects to be a successful campaign for the Storm.
“We definitely do believe we can lift the title this year. We're all very mature even though we are the youngest team in the league. So it has always been very intimidating for us because we're playing against older women who aren't always the nicest to us because we're younger. So it's the intimidation that really made it hard for us to succeed but we're all very mature now and we're bringing our A game so they better watch out for us this season,” said Evans.
The Storm ended the last full season in third place behind Phoenix Heat and Lindos Tigers.
Evans described the team’s win as an indication of their potential this season and a clear mark of her team’s resilience. She admitted that it was a difficult outing, given the lack of fitness among the players.
“None of the teams have really had proper training because of the Covid-19 restrictions, we were only allowed a certain amount of time and also because we've been on lockdown we haven't had any time to train. So this was our first time actually having gameplay in about a year and a half, so everyone was extremely burnt out, it was just a lot, it was like starting over,” Evans said.
“People think when you don't have your starting team or you don't have the key players that you won't play as well, but this result just shows that we are able to hold our own and maintain. It also shows that basically all of us are key players,” Evans said.
The Storm will turn their attention to BDA Regiment on Saturday at 5:30pm. Defending champions Phoenix Heat will face Lindos Tiger at 4:00pm, while Docksiders are scheduled to play NVCC at 7:00pm in the other senior league fixtures.
In last week’s lone Under-17 match, Phoenix Fire stopped NVCC 14-13. The Storm will face NVCC tomorrow at 4:00pm in this week’s contest.
Storm Thunder beat Rangers 7-2 in the Under-14 league, while Phoenix Embers got the better of NVCC Whites 13-11. This week, Phoenix Embers will tackle NVCC Whites at 2:00pm before NVCC Red tackle Storm Lightning at 3:00pm.
In the Under-11 league, Storm dominated Phoenix Sparks 16-0, while Rangers stopped NVCC 24-1.
NVCC will play the Sparks at 12:00pm tomorrow, while Southampton Rangers will face Storm Under-11 an hour later.