London Pulse were edged out in a thrilling local derby to start their Vitality Netball Super League season with a defeat against Surrey Storm.
The teams had met in one of the few games to be contested in the 2020 season and, after Pulse won 12 months ago, it was Storm who gained their revenge with a 42-40 victory.
Having made a blistering start to the cancelled 2020 season, Pulse were keen to pick up where they had left off but it was Storm who began better with a blistering run of seven unanswered goals.
Trailing by four after the opening 12 minutes, Pulse then fell six behind before they were finally able to chip away at Surrey's advantage. Coach Sam Bird turned to Kira Rothwell for Rademan as she tried to get some control against a Storm defence which had Leah Middleton and Niamh Cooper impressing. Pulse drew within one and Rothwell was on hand to level the scores for the first time since the opening exchanges, but Storm recalibrated and held on to lead by two at half-time.
Pulse continued to create the clear-cut openings, but were not clinical n the shooting circle, in contrast Storm were relentless in taking the chances that came their way. Midway through the third quarter Pulse managed to sneak their way into a lead for the first time since the opening score thanks to a three-goal burst from Burger.
London Pulse held onto their advantage, with a one-goal lead going into the final quarter and then a two-goal advantage through the early stages of the last 12 minutes. Storm drew level at 35-35 and made their decisive move in a low-scoring contest with a 5-1 run giving them a lead which Pulse could not overturn - despite a couple of late chances to force a draw that typified their afternoon's work with the feed into the circle letting them down.
It was not to be for Pulse who are back in action next Sunday where they face Manchester Thunder at 6pm – live on Sky Sports.