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Pulse maintain 100% record with win over Dragons

With their first home fixture of the VNSL 2020 season, the Copper Box arena was buzzing with excitement and London Pulse did not want to disappoint in front of a home crowd. Wanting to continue their undefeated run and secure another win, making it three from three. Pulse were facing travelling side Celtic Dragons. The warm-up was filled with high energy and positive vibes, enough to get anyone’s pulse racing, feeling pumped and ready to take the court.

Dekker got the game going with the first centre pass and a quick transition from Pulse allowed them to score early and settle the nerves. Unforced errors from Dragons attacking end, offered Pulse opportunities to punch home any advantage. Fancy footwork and a sharp change of direction from Thomas, was showcased. Great timing from Adio on the intercept allowed the Pulse attack to be clinical in their endeavours, making each opportunity count. Dragons didn’t look like a side who were low on confidence and looking for their first win, as they kept pace with Pulse keeping the score goal for goal throughout the first quarter.

Pulse started the quarter by putting immense defensive pressure on the Dragons, making it more difficult for them to get the ball into their shooters. Pulse opened up the court, with good use of the channels to allow ball to flow down the court once they had a turnover. Fierce contesting for the ball in the circle unfazed Burger and Semple, who are fast becoming a dynamic shooting duo. A zone defence paid dividends in the Dragons attacking third, which made the Dragons error count slowly creep up. Nearing the end of the quarter Pulse made changes in their defensive/mid-court line-up and moved Drayne into C and Fadoju entered in as WD. But things still remained close with Pulse taking a slender lead.

Pushing Dragons as high as they could, Pulse continued with the defensive pressure they had applied in the first half. With the mid-court working tirelessly, picking up loose balls and making the most of the turnovers, Pulse were able to take the score out to 33-27. Forcing a held-ball in the Dragons attack. Fadoju on the fly picking a ball out of the air, applied even more pressure on the Dragons mid-court which enabled Pulse to be patient, play the ball around and score decisively. Dragons structures started to fall apart in this quarter and Pulse were able to build on their lead.

Pulse starts the final quarter with confidence knowing that a third consecutive win was within their grasp. Changes within the Dragons attacking circle, did not disrupt the rhythm of the Pulse defence as they continued to work in sync. Gaining tips and intercepts further allowing Pulse to consolidate their lead, which was now heading towards the 50 mark. Great vision and flare from Thomas swept the ball into Burger’s firm and steady hands with ease. Dragons resorted to making changes in the mid-court and playing a shorter, sharper game trying to make it difficult for Pulse to interrupt their transition through court. However, this did not deter Pulse from their objectives, as the score blew out to 57-37 with 7 minutes to go. As Pulse were dominating, Sam Bird took the opportunity to give some court time to her younger players, with Rothwell into GA and Tchine into GS. Seamless changes only strengthened Pulse’s lead and the score finished up at 69-38.

London Pulse Head coach Sam Bird said “I’m really eally pleased. Quite tight to start with, but then we opened up Dragons. It was lovely to see some of the confidence and trust we have been building on and come out on court. The girls enjoying playing together, enjoying the style and nice to get some of the younger ones out. It was also great to get everyone on court and have such a huge lead was really pleasing.”

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