2022 VNSL team review: Surrey Storm

IN the wake of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season finishing, we have taken a look back at how each team fared. We continue the 11-team countdown with the seventh place Surrey Storm, who stood alone on eight wins.


Position: 7th
Wins: 8
Losses: 12
Goals For: 1088 (4th)
Goals Against: 1163 (11th)
Goal Difference: -75 (8th)
Points: 24


Surrey Storm had a rough fixture to open the season, and that was made worse by the nine-goal loss to eventual wooden spooners Severn Stars in the opening round. They did topple Team Bath either side of losses to the eventual grand finalists, before knocking off Leeds Rhinos, and losing to Strathclyde Sirens. It was fair to say the Storm had a yo-yo start to the season, and this continued throughout, though they strung four wins together between Rounds 8 to 11, where they knocked off Saracens Mavericks, Wasps Netball, Celtic Dragons and Severn Stars to move to 6-5 just into the midpoint of the season. Then it came crashing down. They lost eight of the next 10, with only a three-goal win over Strathclyde Sirens in Round 16 , then a last round victory over Celtic Dragons, to move them into seventh and save them from dropping as low as ninth and goal difference.


There were a couple of good ones over Saracens Mavericks and Leeds Rhinos, but the upset of Team Bath on the road to make the Storm’s first win was very memorable. The Storm trailed by four goals at half-time, then found something special in the third term, scoring 17 goals to nine to hit the front by four, a margin they held throughout the even final term to win, 62-58. Goal shooter Peace Proscovia was unstoppable in the circle, putting up 53 goals from 56 attempts, and pulling down two rebounds and one deflection. She was well supported by a sensational feeding group in Emma Magee (nine goals, 18 feeds), Yasmin Parsons (22 feeds, one deflection) and Mikki Austin (20 feeds, one deflection), with Alima Priest consistent in defence.


Proscovia was the star of the show all season since crossing from the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Suncorp Super Netball over the off-season. The towering Storm shooter was exactly what they needed, putting up a massive 853 goals, 79 clear of her nearest rival. The former Loughborough Lightning shooter played in all 20 games, and shot at 94.15 per cent, with the veteran Ugandan showing she can very much be a threat at this level.


Though Leah Middleton is a little older than most in this category from past team reviews, the 27-year-old is seemingly living her best live at the moment. She was good in her second season last season with the Storm, but really stepped it up in 2022 to not miss a game and lift all her stats. The goal keeper finished with with 82 deflections to rank fifth, whilst becoming known for her aggressive play, racking 317 penalties, the most of anyone in the league. She also picked up 32 rebounds, 26 intercepts and 81 turnovers.


Surrey Storm have the pieces to be a very good side, it is just filling in the certain gaps. Middleton is rock solid, and the midcourt of Austin and Parsons are also quality. They have rotated through wing defences this season, whilst they need to find a replacement for Proscovia. Being able to potential lock down a player in these roles – be it internally or externally – would be the next step.

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