Entertainment continues at end of bumper NSL weekend

ROUND 9 of the Netball Super League brought a jam packed weekend of netball to an end, with a mixed bag of results sure shaking things up.

The tightest result of the round was in Cardiff where the Strathclyde Sirens overpowered the Celtic Dragons to win by one goal.

After the Dragons dominated early, the Sirens worked their way back into the match and pinched the win.

The Sirens were the first ones to build any kind of lead, but it did not last long as the Dragons quickly level things back up again and then took the lead for themselves, then things levelled up again.

The Dragons then regained the lead, and started to create a handy buffer as the quarter drew to a close. This was largely thanks to the defensive work of Shaquanda Greene-Noel and Ella Powell-Davies, who were getting the handy intercepts up on end and not allowing the Sirens’ shooters chances to score, and the Dragons’ shooters up the other end were converting up the other end.

The Dragons grew their lead out to as much as six goals, and that is where the margin sat as the buzzer went.

Things continued in the second quarter where they left off in the first, as the Dragons continued to capitalise on a lot of turnover ball in defence, score in attack and extend their lead even further.

As the Dragons lead was heading towards double figures, things went from bad to worse for the Sirens after Stella Oyella went down with a lower leg injury.

Although as the quarter progressed through its middle stages, the Sirens started to mount a bit of a comeback.

They got within four goals, but the Dragons then stemmed the bleeding, and as such stretched the margin back out to as much as eight goals. However the Sirens then rallied late and as such shrunk the margin back to four at the main break.

The third quarter was all about the Sirens and their comeback.

After some back and forth play, it almost took two minutes for the first goal of the third quarter to be scored. It went to the Dragons, who were also putting a lot of pressure on the Sirens defensively and making them miss plenty of shots.

The Sirens also put on plenty of defensive pressure so the intercept count was high in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Sirens could not convert all the turnover ball they were getting.

Strathcylde were slowly eating away at the deficit, but could have done so much more quickly and even had a lead if they had not missed so many shots.

The Sirens did eventually level things up, and take the lead for themselves.

They ended their very strong quarter with a one goal lead, but it really was anyone’s game still.

The Sirens got a great start to the final term, and quickly grew their lead out to four goals.

Then the Dragons kicked back into gear and got back within one of their visitors but then the Sirens stemmed the tide and were able to get the margin back out to four goals with three and a half minutes left in the quarter.

Then yet again the Dragons came back at the opposition and got back within one after scoring the last three goals of the match. They kept pushing up to the final seconds of the match, but a couple of key calls against them ensured they were unable to score any more than that.

For the Sirens, Claire Maxwell and Towera Vinkhumbo really starred, particularly in the defensive aspects of their game.

Meanwhile for the Dragons Greene-Noel and Powell-Davies really kept their side in the match, while Clare Jones also had a really solid game.

In other results:

  • The Saracens Mavericks were unable to make it two from two for the weekend after they went down to the Manchester Thunder by seven goals.

A six goal quarter time lead to the Thunder set up the win, and although the Mavericks won the final quarter, it was the only one they won for the game.

Lenize Potgieter (51 goals from 51 attempts, one rebound and one intercept) starred under the ring for the Thunder, while Amy Carter (34 feeds, one deflection) was a workhorse through midcourt, as was Natalie Metcalf (27 feeds, two goals).

Meanwhile for the Mavericks it was the defenders who starred, namely Aliyah Zaranyika (four intercepts), Monique Meyer (two intercepts, two deflections and a feed) and Jodie Gibson (two intercepts, a deflection and a feed).

  • The Storm bounced back from their loss earlier in the weekend in a big way, defeating the Severn Stars by 37 goals.

The Storm held a 10 goal lead at the first break, but it was the middle two quarters where things really fell apart for the Stars, where they only put on 17 goals compared to Surrey’s 45.

Proscovia Peace (39 goals from 41 attempts, two feeds, two rebounds) and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (33 goals from 34 attempts, 11 feeds) split the goal shooting responsibilities very evenly, while Leah Middleton (two rebounds, two intercepts, three rebounds) also had a great game.

Meanwhile for the Stars Jessica Shaw (28 feeds, one deflection) was a workhorse through midcourt, as was Gabriella Marshall (13 feeds, four deflections, one intercept).

  • The London Pulse downed the Loughborough Lightning by six goals.

Each side won two quarters, but the Pulse won their quarters by more than the Lightning won theirs.

Funmi Fadoju (eight deflections, two rebounds, one intercept) and Chelsea Pitman (35 feeds, one deflection) starred for the Pulse, while Fran Williams (three intercepts, two deflections, one rebound) and stand in skipper Hannah Joseph (24 feeds, one intercept) did so likewise for the Lightning.

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