Ducks broken and finalists set in chaotic weekend

IT was an emotion charged round in the Netball Super League, with some major events happening across the five games. One of those major events was in Bath, where after about four months of the season the Strathclyde Sirens finally got a win on the board, downing Team Bath by seven goals.

The home side was the more dominant one for much of the match, but the visitors fought back hard late to take the win.

It was impossible to split the sides early, but eventually it was in fact Bath who took the early lead. That lead ultimately got out to as much as four goals during the term, and with Sophie Kelly‘s long bombs highly accurate, it was seaming like the Sirens were never going to chase down that deficit.

However they almost did, but an unfortunate badly timed slip from Hannah Williams meant that Bath’s lead was two goals at the first change.

Momentum continued to stay with the Sirens to start the second quarter, with the Scots not taking long to equal up the ledger. However, the likes of Jayda Pechova were not going to allow the Sirens to stay level for a while, with Bath quickly able to restore a larger buffer.

But perhaps in a continuing sign of the kind of match this was, the Sirens did not take too long to level back up again. The momentum pendulum did not want to stay still for long though, and Bath re-established a lead that was a high as four goals, but ultimately sat at two again at the main break.

Momentum really was with the home side early in the second half as they grew their lead to five goals early in the third term. It grew even further in the middle part of the quarter as the Sirens just could capitalise on the turnovers like Bath could.

Just as it seemed like Bath were starting to assert control on the match, the Sirens had other ideas and after a hard fight back in the last part of the quarter, they levelled up the scores as the teams turned for home.

The final quarter was one hell of a hard fought quarter. With both teams desperate for the win, neither side was going to lay down their arms in a hurry. Crucially though, Sesandile Ngubane was really starting to become influential in the game and started to really win her one on one duel with Pechova.

The lift of influence from the Sirens’ shooter correlated with the Sirens finally establishing a bit of a buffer for themselves for the first time all game. The Sirens were really starting to lift as the quarter dragged on, playing with a lot more freedom and confidence than they had been earlier in the match.

When that final whistle went, the emotion on the faces of the Sirens’ girls told the whole story of how much the win meant to them.

In other results:

  • The Severn Stars confirmed their spot in the 2024 finals after vanquishing their last potential enemy for that spot, the Leeds Rhinos.

The lead kept changing in the first half, but it was the Stars that pulled ahead late to take the win in the shadows of an emotional week.

  • The Cardiff Dragons did a number on the Saracens Mavericks, winning by 20 goals.

An 11-goal lead to the Dragons at quarter time really set the tone for the match, and despite the sides drawing the second term the Dragons continued to build their lead after that.

  • The Loughborough Lightning pulled off a narrow win over the Surrey Storm, winning by only four goals.

Both teams won two quarters each, but ultimately the Lightning won their quarters by more than the Storm won theirs, with the second quarter proving the true difference maker.

  • The Manchester Thunder have held off a valiant London Pulse side to win by four goals to maintain their buffer at the top of the table.

The decisive blow from the Thunder did not come  until the final term, where they won it 17 goals to seven to come from behind to take the win.

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