SEVERN Stars won their second game of the season in Round 16, as Loughborough Lightning went 2-0 across the weekend in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL). All the rescheduled games were completed, meaning teams will be back on track heading in Round 17 next weekend.
Loughborough Lightning never looked like losing and took control from early against Leeds Rhinos on their way to the 15-goal triumph. The second placed side came out of the blocks strongly to put up 21 goals to 15 in the first term, and despite the second being an even quarter, the visitors firmly took control in the third term, 16-9. Finishing off a four-quarter performance, the Lightning scored 17 goals to 15 to win, 71-56.
Ella Clark was dominant in goal shooter for the Lightning, firing shots from everywhere to finish with 58 goals from 63 attempts, and pulling down four rebounds. Hannah Joseph (25 feeds, one intercept, two deflections and two turnovers) and Hannah Williams (21 feeds, one intercept, one deflection and one turnover) were also superb in midcourt, and Fran Williams pile on six intercepts and seven turnovers in the defensive goal circle.
Sigrid Burger put up 45 goals from 46 attempts for Leeds, pairing with Brie Tyler Grierson who not only shot seven goals from nine attempts, but produced a match-high 30 feeds, and even grabbed an intercept and a deflection. Rebekah Airey (five rebounds, three intercepts, six deflections and eight turnovers) was a clear star despite playing on Clark, with Vicki Oyesola managing the four intercepts, five deflections, five turnovers and one rebound in the loss.
Team Bath have edged out Saracens Mavericks in one of the most thrilling games of the 2022 VNSL season. Throughout the game both sides traded blows, and quite often goal for goal as the teams headed into the main break as they had started – level, and with 26 goals apiece – but the Mavericks then took the upper hand in the third term thanks to 14-10. Somehow the blue and gold found a way even when trailing by three goals with three minutes to go, largely thanks to a number of defensive turnovers allowing Bath to salute with a 14-9 final term to win, 50-49.
Phumza Maweni turned the game in the final quarter to record four intercepts, three deflections, three rebounds and three turnovers in a deserving Player of the Match honour. She teamed up well with fellow international defender Layla Guscoth (five deflections, two rebounds, three turnovers and one intercept). Kim Borger shot 32 goals from 36 attempts, as captain Imogen Allison has two intercepts and one deflection.
Sasha Corbin (22 feeds, two intercept) stood out in midcourt for the Mavericks, feeding through to Britney Clarke (26 goals from 29 attempts) and Kadeen Corbin (23 from 28, and 14 feeds), whilst Razia Quashie (two intercepts, two deflections and two turnovers) was strong in defence.
London Pulse took control in the first three quarters against Severn Stars to enjoy a 15-goal win at the University of Worcester Arena. The Pulse piled on 27 goals to 21 in the first half, and then really put the foot down in the third with a dominant 16-9 third term. Though the Stars managed to even it out in the fourth quarter, they still went down, 38-53.
Goal keeper Lindsay Keable earned Player of the Match honours for her performance of four rebounds, three deflections, one intercept and six turnovers, teaming up with Funmi Fadoju (two intercepts, six deflections and three turnovers) in the defensive goal circle. Olivia Tchine (30 goals from 35 attempts, two rebounds, one deflection and one turnover) was strong in attack.
Bethan Dyke was lively in midcourt for the Stars, recording 17 feeds to go with an intercept and turnover, whilst Summer Artman (three intercepts, five deflections and five turnovers) and Lucy Herdman (five intercepts, two rebounds and seven turnovers) were up against it in the defensive goal circle.
Surrey Storm won the first of their two weekend clashes, knocking off Strathclyde Sirens in an important three-goal win. The Sirens started strongly to lead by two goals at the first change, but soon the scores levelled out at the main break. The Storm stepped up in the second half to post 28 goals to 25 and secure the nail-biting 55-52 victory.
Felisitus Kwangwa was outstanding for the Storm, picking up a massive six intercepts, seven deflections, three rebounds and 10 turnovers in the victory, working hard with Leah Middleton (six deflections, two rebounds and four turnovers). Peace Proscovia put up a high volume of shots with 45 goals at 100 per cent efficiency, whilst Mikki Austin (25 feeds, one intercept, two deflections and one turnover) busy in midcourt.
The midcourt of Bethany Dix (22 feeds, two intercepts, two turnovers and one deflection) and Gia Abernethy (16 feeds, one intercept and one turnover) worked hard for the Sirens, whilst Towera Vinkhumbo had four intercepts, three deflections and five turnovers in defence.
Wasps Netball had a much needed victory over Surrey Storm, leaving the Storm with a 1-1 record for the weekend. The Wasps lead by a goal at quarter time, but really opened the game up in the second term to lead by seven at the main break. Though the visitors clawed back a goal by winning the third term, the Wasps got back on top to triumph 18-11 in the fourth and run away with the 65-52 win.
Veteran shooter Rachel Dunn won Player of the Match with 45 goals from 49 attempts, also pulling down four rebounds. She paired with Lucy Parize (20 goals from 26 attempts, 23 feeds and two rebounds) well, whilst Josie Huckle and Ella Powell-Davies were steadfast up the other end of the court, combining for five intercepts, three deflections and eight turnovers.
Proscovia shot another 41 goals from 42 attempts, as Austin (20 feeds) was hard working through the centre third again with fellow midcourter Sophia Candappa in the absence of Yasmin Parsons. Kwangwa (four intercepts, two deflections, six turnovers and one intercept) was amongst the best once again.
Severn Stars broke through for a long-awaited win, toppling Strathclyde Sirens by five goals for their second win of the year, and first since Round 1. The Stars jumped out of the blocks to lead by five goals at quarter time, before the Sirens cut the deficit to three at the main break. Severn kept it even in the third quarter, before winning the last by two goals, 12-10 to come away with the five-goal victory, 54-49.
The Stars shooting duo of Cathrine Tuivaiti (34 goals at 100 per cent efficiency) and Paige Reed (20 goals from 22 attempts and 14 feeds) both combined well, whilst up the other end, Artman (two rebounds, four intercepts and six turnovers) and Herdman (five rebounds, one intercept, three deflections and five turnovers).
Strathclyde Sirens’ midcourt pairing of Dix (26 feeds, one intercept, one deflection and one turnover) and Abernethy (24 feeds, two intercepts, two deflections and two turnovers) stepped up. Taylor McKevitt (five deflections, one intercept and two turnovers) and Emily Nicholl (two intercepts, two deflections and two turnovers) were also strong in the defensive third.
Ladder leaders Manchester Thunder racked up yet another win, this time defeating Team Bath by 21 goals to continue their fantastic form in 2022. The Thunder started strong as they so often have this season, scoring 37 goals to 22 in the first half. Bath managed to level the scores in the third term, before the Thunder got back in control and extended the final margin out to 21, with a 66-45 victory.
Thunder captain Laura Malcolm (three intercepts, four turnovers, one deflection and six feeds) won Player of Match, while Kerry Almond recorded three intercepts, three deflections and five turnovers was a rock in the defensive goal circle. Joyce Mvula (34 goals from 37 attempts) and Eleanor Cardwell (29 from 34 and 15 feeds) teamed up well in the attacking goal circle.
Maweni and Guscoth combined for 11 turnovers, six deflections, four intercepts and three rebounds in the defensive goal circle. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (14 goals at 100 per cent efficiency) was a deadeye despite her team going down in a tough loss.
Loughborough Lightning came from a quarter time deficit to run over the top of Saracens Mavericks and secure an eight-goal win. The reigning champions trailed by five goals on the road against the Mavericks, before picking up in the middle two quarters to score 35 goals to 22 and take an eight-goal advantage at the final break. An even 13 goals apiece in the last quarter finished with Loughborough maintaining their 59-51 stranglehold.
The shooting combination of Clark (33 goals from 38 attempts, and eight feeds, two rebounds and one deflection) and Emma Thacker (26 goals from 32 attempts) teamed up effectively in the shooting circle. Alice Harvey (three rebounds, tow intercepts, five deflections and two turnovers) and Williams (three intercepts, four turnovers) were equally effective up the other end.
Clarke managed 33 goals from 36 attempts for the Mavericks, as Quashie (one intercept, one rebound, one deflection and three turnovers) and Jodie Gibson (three rebounds, three deflections, one intercept and one turnover) worked hard throughout the contest.