Lightning strike as Thunder, Storm prevail

LOUGHBOROUGH Lightning have bounced back from their first loss of the season to post a comprehensive 20-goal win over London Pulse, as Team Bath, Manchester Thunder and Surrey Storm also celebrated Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) victories.

  • Team
  • London Pulse
  • Loughborough Lightning

Loughborough Lightning have reiterated their VNSL premiership aspirations, defeating third placed London Pulse by 20 goals to kick off Round 11 of the season. After going down to Manchester Thunder last week, the Lightning put the Pulse to the sword early with a 20-6 first term to completely shut the home team out of the match. Loughborough then scored 16-11 and 16-13 in the next two terms, expanding the lead out to 22 goals at the final break. To the Pulse’s credit, they did hit back and win the last term 14-12, but it would not be enough as the Lightning headed home happy with the 64-44 victory.

Hannah Joseph picked up the Player of the Match award for her 25 feeds into the circle, as well as an intercept and deflection out of wing attack. Mary Cholhok put up 53 goals from 57 attempts and pulled down two rebounds, working well with Suzie Liverseidge (nine goals from 13 attempts and 20 feeds) also impressing. In defence, Beth Cobden stood up in wing defence, and Fran Williams had five deflections, five turnovers and two intercepts.

Lindsay Keable tried hard against Cholhok with three rebounds, two intercepts, seven deflections and six turnovers, whilst Zara Everitt had the five deflections, four turnovers and an intercept doing well back there. Kira Rothwell was also amongst the best with 10 goals from 11 attempts, eight feeds, two deflections and a turnover.

Loughborough Lightning have the quick turnaround when they take on Leeds Rhinos tonight back at home, whilst the London Pulse will travel to clash with Team Bath next Monday, April 11.

  • Team
  • Strathclyde Sirens
  • Team Bath

A four quarter performance from Team Bath saw them grab an impressive 17-goal win over Strathclyde Sirens to break even with a 5-5 record for the season and move up to fourth on the table, whilst keeping the Sirens in the bottom three. Bath were quick out of the blocks with 16 goals to 10 in the opening quarter, and built on that lead to be 31-21 at half-time. They further extended the advantage out to 16 by the final break, then in a low-scoring final quarter, won it 10-9, for a final score of 57-40.

Layla Guscoth, Phumza Maweni and Tash Pavelin were a superb defensive trio, really shutting down the Sirens’ avenues to goal. Guscoth (six deflections, four intercepts, four turnovers and two rebounds), Maweni (three intercepts, three deflections, four turnovers and two rebounds) and Pavelin (four deflections, five turnovers and two intercepts) all impressed. Up the other end, Kim Borger (28 goals from 29 attempts, one rebound and on deflections) and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (16 goals from 19 attempts, four feeds, one intercept and two turnovers) both contributed strongly.

For the Sirens, Gia Abernethy used her experience in centre on her way to a game-high 24 feeds, as well as two intercepts, one deflection and two turnovers), whilst Emily Nicholl (nine deflections, two intercepts and three turnovers) and Towera Vinkhumbo (seven deflections, three turnovers and one intercept) combined well.

Team Bath head to Surrey Sports Park next Friday night to take on the Storm, whilst Strathclyde Sirens have a nine-day break until locking horns with Leeds Rhinos.

  • Team
  • Celtic Dragons
  • Manchester Thunder

Top of the table Manchester Thunder remained undefeated after yet another victory, this time defeating cellar dwellers Celtic Dragons. Though the match was predicted to be a one-sided contest, the Thunder had their work cut out for them after quarter time, only winning the final three quarters by a goal each. Fortunately, the visitors started strong enough to win the first term by six, which culminated in the overall 59-50 win, but there was plenty to take out of the loss from the Welsh side too.

The Thunder had plenty of different combinations they tried with Eleanor Cardwell, Joyce Mvula and Natalie Metcalf providing great strength in attack. Through the midcourt, captain Laura Malcolm was providing a great link-up, whilst Millie Sanders and Shadine Van der Merwe were crucial in the last quarter.

For the Dragons, Laura Rudland was the standout, earning Player of the Match, whilst Shaquanda Greene-Noel was fierce in defence, continuing her great season. Clare Jones and Nia Jones provided good intensity through the midcourt for the home side despite ultimately falling short in their pursuit for victory.

Both Manchester Thunder and Celtic Dragons play next Saturday night, with the Thunder to host Severn Stars at Belle Vue, whilst the Dragons hit the road to take on Saracens Mavericks at Hertfordshire Sports Village.

  • Team
  • Surrey Storm
  • Severn Stars

In a reverse of the Round 1 result, Surrey Storm had a big win over Severn Stars on Sunday night, proving far too strong for their opponents in a 16-goal victory. The Stars actually held the advantage at quarter time with a 16-13 term, but then the Storm took over from that point on, not scoring below 18 goals in each of the three remaining terms. They won the quarters by four, nine and six to eventually run away with the match, 68-52.

Peace Proscovia piled on 45 goals from 46 attempts with remarkable accuracy, whilst Francesca Wells (21 from 26) provided great support with nine feeds, an intercept, a deflection and a turnover. Mikki Austin and Yasmin Parsons combined for 51 feeds, whilst Leah Middleton had three deflections, two intercepts, five rebounds and eight turnovers.

Cathrine Tuivaiti had her biggest output of her return season with an impressive 25 goals at 100 per cent under the post, whilst Paige Reed (13 goals from 16 attempts) and Katie Harris (11 from 15) sharing the load. Bethan Dyke had a team-high 27 feeds, whilst Lucy Herdman had four deflections, three intercepts, three rebounds and nine turnovers, but 22 penalties.

Surrey Storm have moved into fourth spot on the VNSL table now and will host Team Bath in a massive clash on Friday night, whilst Severn Stars travel to Belle Vue to test themselves against Manchester Thunder.

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