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Funmi Fadoju of London Pulse. Lightning.

The Season Opener 2020 got off to a dramatic start as London Pulse clinched a 51-53 win against Strathclyde Sirens in front of a sold out crowd at Arena Birmingham.

London Pulse’s Ashleigh Dekker took the first centre pass of the game, with Sigrid Burger maximising on the opportunity and sinking the first goal of the day. However, it was a quick turnover for Strathclyde Sirens as they equalised off the mark.

Some impressive deceptive shots by Pulse’s attack put them in the lead again as Burger continued to sink a number of quick-fire goals for the side in pink.

Towards the end of the quarter Sirens stepped up their tempo and the two sides began to go goal-for-goal. However, Burger remained on point and secured the last goal of the quarter leaving Pulse leading 13-12.

Sirens stepped onto the court with purpose for the second quarter, with Gia Abernathy taking the first centre pass, which quickly converted into the first goal of the goal quarter for Sirens.

Sirens’ Lynsey Gallagher refused to relent under Pulse’s defence in the shooting circle, however it was short-lived as Burger continued to add more to her tally in the second quarter as soon as the opportunity arose.

Once again it was goal-for-goal for the majority of the quarter until Pulse managed to break away in the last few minutes of the game, ending the quarter at 26-23 to Pulse.

Pulse’s Burger was keen to maintain the goal difference as she made a swift and successful shot seconds after the third quarter whistle.

Substituted Kira Rothwell, who came on as GA for the third quarter for Pulse, managed to quickly establish her attacking presence on the court, notably catching rebounds and providing multiple successful shooting opportunities for Burger who ultimately scored two very quick consecutive goals to finish the dramatic quarter at 41-37.

Sirens managed to break through Pulse’s centre pass to score the first goal of the quarter. Pulse’s Burger was back with a retaliation, however, and scored not long after.

Sirens continued to work hard to take the lead but Pulse managed to continue to build a slight gap despite their efforts. The score at the end of the high-octane game was 51-53 to Pulse.

Strathclyde Sirens starting seven: Bethan Goodwin (GS), Lynsey Gallagher (GA), Nicola McCleery (WA), Gia Abernethy (C), Claire Maxwell (WD), Natalie Bright (GD), Zanele Vimbela (GK).

London Pulse starting seven: Sigrid Burger (GS), Chiara Semple (GA), Adean Thomas (WA), Ashleigh Dekker (C), Michelle Drayne (WD), Lindsay Keable (GD), Halimat Adio (GK).

By Hannah Bradfield.

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