2021 VNSL: Team of the Week – Round 4

ROUND 4 of the Vitality Netball Superleague saw plenty of close contests and impressive performances from individuals making the task for Draft Central to create a Team of the Week tricky. A number of big wins highlighted the round of netball with Loughborough Lightning, Wasps Netball, Saracens Mavericks and Manchester Thunder all flexing their muscles as serious finals contenders and subsequently earning a couple of positions in the squad.

GS: Joyce Mvula (Manchester Thunder)
GA: Katie Harris (Wasps Netball)
WA: Nicola McCleery (Strathclyde Sirens)
C: Amy Carter (Manchester Thunder)
WD: Beth Cobden (Loughborough Lightning)
GD: Fran Williams (Wasps Netball)
GK: Towera Vinkhumbo (Strathclyde Sirens)

BENCH: Mary Cholhok (Loughborough Lightning), Georgia Lees (Saracens Mavericks), Razia Quashie (Saracens Mavericks)

It is hard to go past the likes of Joyce Mvula with the talented goaler using her body positioning and high volume of shots to lead the way for the Thunder throughout their Round 4 clash. She was a key target under the post for the Thunder earning the nod in the starting goal shooter position given her Player of the Match performance. Wasps goal attack, Katie Harris was influential in the win, having to combat the absence of Rachel Dunn, Harris stepped up to the plate using her drives and spatial awareness to dominate. She was reliable under the post recording 23 goals at 85 per cent to earn her first selection in Draft Central’s Team of the Week.

In a history making win for Strathclyde Sirens, it is hard to go past Player of the Match, Nicola McCleery who impressed throughout the midcourt and attacking third. Weaving her magic across the court with her quick ball movement, speed off the mark and skill around circle edge McCleery was never far from the contest. The centre bib goes to Amy Carter with the Manchester Thunder middie using her give and go to open up the court. With speed to burn and bullet like passes, Carter was a key cog through the centre linking up the attacking and defensive thirds with relative ease. Out in wing defence is Beth Cobden with the Loughborough Lightning midcourter using her defensive assets to break down her opposition attackers and regain possession herself. A real workhorse, Cobden did not shy away from the contest working in overdrive to clog up space and cause chaos through the defensive third.

The goal defence bib fell to Fran Williams as the Wasps defender plied her trade to win ball back and use her deceptively long arms to cause havoc. Employing strong hands over pressure and fancy footwork to track her opponent Williams picked up one intercept and two deflections. In at goal keeper is Towera Vinkhumbo who was a rock for the Sirens picking up five intercepts and three deflections highlighting her impressive read of the play and dynamic movement. However her performance was somewhat dampened by the number of penalties with the defender amassing 12 penalties and seven turnovers.

Loughborough Lightning star, Mary Cholhok is becoming a resident fixture, albeit this time on the bench, with the Ugandan prodigy a stalwart under the post with her strong holds, fancy footwork and overall netball nous to score with ease. She is a consistent figure under the post, impressing against Leeds and keeping that momentum going in her next game displaying her intensity. Through the midcourt Georgia Lees was an excitement machine for the Mavericks using her pace and precision to do damage. Stalwart, Razia Quashie takes out the final bench position with the talented defender able to hold her own and use her clever body work to win ball back. There were a couple of other notable performances with the likes of Ine-Mari Venter and Jodie Gibson up there for contention but just missing out given they did not play a full game in order to comply with the COVID-19 restrictions.

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