Hoodoos broken, tops secured and seasons ended in exciting round

LAST weekend in the Netball Super League really had it all. Losing streaks broken, ladder positions finalised and the end of another team’s season.

One of the biggest results over the weekend was the Celtic Dragons, who dominated the Sirens at times to win 50 goals to 37.

Although he game started tight, the Dragons took control in the second and third term to come away with a big win.

After squandering several chances to pinch a goal off the opening Sirens centre pass, the Dragons did eventually pinch the goal off that first opposition centre to take the early lead, and consolidated off their following centre pass.

The Sirens certainly had plenty of opportunities to claw back the deficit, but their attacks were breaking down between entering the attacking third and entering the attacking circle.

The margin sat at around three to four goals for much of the quarter, but with both goal keepers Shaquanda Greene-Noel and Towera Vinkhumbo up and about, it was proving difficult for both sides to score.

In the end, it was a low scoring opening term and the margin sat at two goals at the first change.

The Dragons continued to dominate early in the second term, and scored the first six goals of the quarter to extend their lead. Things just continued to fall apart in attack for the home side and Greene-Noel was able to pounce on that and begin a number of counter attacks for her side.

Things kept going from bad to worse for the Sirens, and they quickly found themselves eight goals down at the main break.

The Dragons continued to dominate in the third quarter, and rapidly found themselves with a lead of double figures.

For the third straight quarter they kept the Scots to a single figure score for the quarter, and their lead was now 14 goals by the time the quarter ended.

In a complete change from the trajectory of the previous quarters, it was the Sirens who came out of the break firing in the last term and scored the first five goals of the final quarter to drop the margin back under double digits. There was a level of assertiveness and confidence from the Sirens that was finally matching it with the calmness and surety the Dragons had had all evening.

The comeback did not last too long though as the Dragons reasserted their dominance and their double digit lead with it.

The Sirens did ultimately win the quarter, but it was only by one goal, so the Dragons still came away with a comprehensive win.

It was truly the defenders who shone brightest for both sides.

Greene-Noel finished with a staggering 14 turnovers to go with nine rebounds, four intercepts and three deflections, Ella Powell-Davies finished with seven turnovers, five intercepts, two deflections and one rebound, while Vinkhumbo finished with a staggering 15 turnovers and 10 intercepts, to go with five rebounds and two deflections.

In other results:

  • Manchester Thunder continued to tune up for finals with a solid 27 goal win over the Saracens Mavericks.

A 17 goal to nine opening term set things going for the Thunder, before a 23 goal to 10 third term in favour of the Thunder really blew things open.

Lenize Potgieter (40 goals, three rebounds, two feeds), Natalie Metcalf (41 feeds, seven goals) and Josie Huckle (six turnovers, five deflections four intercepts) all starred for the Thunder, while Sasha Corbin (26 feeds) also excelled for the Mavericks.

  • In the battle of the top of the table, it was the Pulse who narrowly defeated the Lightning to secure top spot for 2023.

In a game that was tight all day, the Pulse survived a Lightning comeback to take the win.

Funmi Fadoju (six deflections, three intercepts and three turnovers) and Zara Everitt (four deflections, two intercepts and two rebounds) both starred for the Pulse, as did Mary Cholhok (48 goals, six rebounds) and Hannah Joseph (22 feeds, two intercepts, two deflections, two turnovers, one rebound) for the Lightning.

  • The Rhinos earned back to back wins for the first time in 2023 and ended the Severn Stars’ season on a negative note with a seven goal win.

The second and fourth quarter proved to be the difference for the Rhinos as they came back from a bad start to win the second quarter 20 goals to 13 and the fourth 14 to eight.

The star Rhinos were their tall timbers Ellie Bird (43 goals) and Vicki Oyesola (seven deflections, five turnovers, two intercepts, two rebounds), while Jessica Shaw (30 feeds, two turnovers, one deflection, one intercept) and Jo Trip (four turnovers, four deflections, two intercepts, one rebound, one feed) both ended their seasons with solid performances for the Stars.

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