Big wins, little wins, all the types of wins
IN the first of two rounds this weekend in the Netball Super League, there was a real mixture of margins across the four games.
In the opening game of the round the Leeds Rhinos again fell agonisingly short of their first win of the season, going down to the Severn Stars 53 to 51.
Teams traded blows for the first four goals, before it was the Rhinos who pinched a goal off a Stars centre and then consolidated off their following centre pass to cement the early lead.
That proved to be a decisive little win for the Rhinos, who managed to keep the lead for the rest of the quarter as the teams continued to trade blows. It was never more than two or three goals, but crucially for a Rhinos side desperately look for their first win, it was theirs.
At the first break though the margin was a single goal to the Rhinos thanks to a goal on the buzzer for the Stars.
The Stars did manage to finally level things back up again early in the second term, but that did not last long as some missed long passes in attack meant they were unable to take the lead outright.
The Rhinos then re-established their lead, and stretched it out to a game high four goals in the back half of the quarter.
However, the Stars worked their way back into the match thanks to some solid defensive work from Jo Trip, the Stars levelled proceedings again with a minute left in the term.
The Rhinos then got the last two goals of the quarter though to take a two goal lead into the main break.
The Stars had the much better start to the third term of the two sides, putting three goals on the board before the Rhinos got their first on the board, to see the visitors take the lead.
However the Rhinos were never going to let the Stars gain full control of the match, and worked their way back into the match and back into the lead as the quarter progressed into its second half.
As the teams turned for home, it really was anyone’s game. The Rhinos held the lead, but it was only one goal and with the number of times the lead had changed already in the game, anything was possible for the final 15 minutes.
The Rhinos grew their lead slightly in the opening few minutes, but then the Stars worked their way back into the game, and took the lead about a third of the way through the quarter.
It may have taken them until six minutes into the final term, but the Stars finally got themselves a lead of more than a goal, and the Stars players were certainly up and about.
The Stars got their lead out to as much as three goals, but by the time there was just under three minutes to go in the game, the Rhinos had drawn things level again.
Things went goal for goal for the next few minutes, before the Rhinos crucially made a silly error in attack, which then allowed the Stars to run it up the other end and score to take the win.
Sigrid Burger (38 goals from 29 attempts, one intercept) was excellent in attack for the Stars, as was Gabby Marshall (20 feeds, one intercept, three deflections) in midcourt and Jess Haynes (five deflections, two rebounds and an intercept) in defence.
Meanwhile for the Rhinos Vicki Oyesola (nine deflections, two intercept) was stellar in defence and really kept her side in the match. Elle McDonald (31 feeds, four deflections and a rebound) also had a great game.
In other results:
- In another tight clash on Friday, Saracens Mavericks escaped with a four goal win over Team Bath.
It was Bath who got out to the early lead, but the Mavericks went on to win the next three quarters to take the win.
Ine-Mari Venter (51 goals from 55 attempts) had a great night under the ring for the Mavericks, while Jodie Gibson (four intercepts, three deflections) was a busy bee up the other end despite being highly penalised.
- In a top of the table clash, the Lightning scored a handy nine goal win over the Surrey Storm.
The Lightning comfortably won the first three quarters an although the Storm won the final term, they only won it by four which was nowhere near enough.
- The biggest win of the weekend belonged to the London Pulse, who defeated the Celtic Dragons by 15 goals.
The Dragons won the second quarter, but things fell apart for the Dragons in the second half as they only put 12 goals on the board for the entire half.