Mavs survive thriller as Thunder, Pulse roll on

IT was a good day for the home Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) sides, with London Pulse, Saracens Mavericks and Manchester Thunder all getting up in their respective Saturday matches. The closest game by far was the Mavericks’ three-goal win over Strathclyde Sirens, with the Pulse defeating the Surrey Storm by six, and the Thunder back to their best with a dominant 24-goal win over Leeds Rhinos. Teams will need to recover quickly with Round 8 starting today.

  • Team
  • London Pulse
  • Surrey Storm

London Pulse won their fifth game in six starts – and fourth in a row – yesterday, when they accounted for Surrey Storm in a six-goal thriller. The Pulse edged ahead at quarter time courtesy of 12 goals to 11, then extended the lead out over the next two quarters to lead by four at half-time and then six by the final break. Both teams were even across the final term with 15 goals apiece, but it would not be enough for the visiting Storm, with the Pulse getting up, 56-50.

It was another Player of the Match performance to Pulse shooter Olivia Tchine who put up 36 goals from 39 attempts, teaming up well with Sacha McDonald (20 from 22, and 18 feeds). The feeding into the circle was fast and furious, with Ashleigh Dekker (14 feeds, a deflections and a turnover) the top one,. The defensive combination of Funmi Fadoju (eight deflections, two intercepts and four turnovers) and Lindsay Keable (two deflections, two intercepts and three turnovers) were both impressive once again.

Storm high volume shooter Peace Proscovia‘s fantastic return to the VNSL rolled on with 46 goals from 51 attempts, and a couple of midcourters able to feed the Ugandan talent in the circle. Yasmin Parsons (20 feedsm, two intercepts, one deflection and three turnovers) and Sophia Candappa (16 feeds) did well, whilst Felisitus Kwangwa tried hard in defence with five deflections, two turnovers and only one penalty.

Surrey Storm play again today hosting the Saracens Mavericks, whilst London Pulse hosts Strathclyde Siren tomorrow.

  • Team
  • Saracens Mavericks
  • Strathclyde Sirens

A strong start helped Saracens Mavericks hold on against a fast-finishing Strathclyde Sirens to record a three-goal victory at the University of Essex Arena. The Mavericks flew out of the blocks to snap their two-game losing streak against the two undefeated sides, and started strongly with a 14-10 first quarter. Both teams were even in the second, with the Mavericks edging ahead again to lead 37-31 at the final break. Though the Glasgow-based side fired home in the final term and won it 14-11, the Mavericks had done enough to secure the 48-45 victory.

The Mavericks shared the goals around in the win, utilising the goal circle rotations, with four players putting up good contributing numbers. Ine-Mari Venter added another 14 goals to her name, with Kadeen Corbin (13 goals, nine feeds and three rebounds) and Britney Clarke (13 goals) all impressive. The Player of the Match went to wing defence Aliyah Zaranyika (three intercepts, two deflections and three turnovers) who was a part of a brilliant defence featuring Jodie Gibson (two intercepts, five deflections, three rebounds and six turnovers) and Razia Quashie (five intercepts, four deflections and six turnovers).

Strathclyde Sirens defence also did well to force the Mavericks to throw around the magnets, as Towera Vinkhumbo (four intercepts, two deflections and five turnovers) and Emily Nicholl (four intercepts, two deflections and four turnovers) worked hard. In attack, Niamh McCall (19 goals from 23 attempts) and Bethan Goodwin (16 from 18) put up good numbers.

Saracens Mavericks travel to Surrey Sports Park today to take on the Storm, as the Strathclyde Sirens tackle the Pulse at the Copper Box Arena.

  • Team
  • Manchester Thunder
  • Leeds Rhinos

A mind-bogging 21 goals in the first term saw Manchester Thunder blow away Leeds Rhinos to set up a huge 24-goal win and remain undefeated. The Thunder made it eight wins on the trot from their season, with yet another dominant display, piling on 21-7 in quarter one, but still winning each of the four quarters throughout the match. Manchester scored 13-11 in the second term, another big difference of 18-12 in the third quarter, then finished off strongly with 17-15 in the last stanza to record the 69-45 win.

Defender Shadine Van der Merwe was sensational with a massive eight deflections, five intercepts, nine turnovers and one rebound, teaming up well with Kerry Almond (seven deflections, three intercepts, seven turnovers and one rebound) in the goal circle. At the other end of the court, the front third returned to the status quo, with Joyce Mvula (39 goals from 46 attempts and three rebounds), Eleanor Cardwell (25 from 28) and Natalie Metcalf (five from seven, 33 feeds and one rebound).

For the Rhinos, it was the midcourt of Jade Clarke (24 feeds, one intercept, one deflection and one turnover) and the versatile Brie Tyler Grierson (nine goals from 12 attempts, one rebound and 22 feeds) who stood out. Sienna Rushton scored a team-high 26 goals from 32 attempts, as well as pulling down three rebounds, two intercepts and two turnovers in the loss, whilst Amelia Hall had 17 feeds.

Manchester Thunder and Leeds Rhinos weekends are both done, with no games in Round 8. The Thunder hosts London Pulse next Saturday at Belle Vue, whilst the Rhinos take on Saracens Mavericks on the road the same day.

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