PREVIEW | 2024 NSL Semi-Finals

TODAY is a big day in British netball with the two Netball Super League semi-finals taking place later today.

It is a do-or-die day for the last four teams left in the competition – Manchester Thunder, Loughborough Lightning, London Pulse and Severn Stars. Win today, and they are still in the running to win the title. Lose, and it is off to the Bronze Medal Match next week.

You can watch both semi-finals on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports’ Youtube channel.


Manchester Thunder vs Severn Stars
4pm local time
Belle Vue Arena


The Thunder have had a stellar end to the season. So much so that they have not lost a match since back in Round 6, which was over two months ago now.

The Stars on the other hand have had a pretty strong end to the year, but not as strong as the Thunder’s. Losing to the Lightning last week was not the ideal way to build up to a debut finals campaign for the Stars, but before that they were on a six match winning streak.


Last time these two sides met was back in Round 10, and it is safe to say it is a day the Stars would probably rather forget.

To the Stars’ credit, the first and third quarters were as about as even as they could get.

However crucially, the second and fourth ones were not, with the Thunder winning those by eight goals and six goals respectively to go on to win the match by 15 goals.


The Thunder’s biggest weapon is arguably their midcourt.

Imogen Allison and Natalie Metcalf are world class athletes that generate so much positive play for the Thunder, and are the cornerstone to their success.

For the Stars meanwhile, it is arguably their defence. Jo Trip and Jasmine Brown have become one of the strongest defensive pairings in the competition this season, and this is only strengthened by the inclusion of Ella Powell-Davies into the mix.


Loughborough Lightning vs London Pulse
6pm local time
Sir David Wallace Arena


It has not been a completely straight forward past two months for the Lightning, with two losses mixed in with six wins in that time period. Crucially though, those two losses both came against eventual finalists – Manchester Thunder and London Pulse.

Speaking of the Pulse, they have had a mixed bag of a last fortnight – recording a draw and a loss – but before that had not lost since Round 5.


As previously mentioned, there is some very recent history between the sides, with their last meeting taking place only a fortnight ago.

On that particular day, the Lightning got out to a really strong start, before the Pulse fought back and took the lead by the time the final quarter came around. However, the Lightning then steadied in the last quarter and won the quarter, but not by enough as the Pulse ultimately prevailed by two goals.


This clash may ultimately come down to a battle of the goal shooters.

Mary Cholhok and Olivia Tchine are such linchpins of their respective sides, that their success is crucial to the team’s success.

Their respective shooting partners will also play a crucial role too. If the goal shooters manage to get defended out of the game, Rhea Dixon and Berri Neil will need to step up and take the load. Even if the shooters do stay influential for the whole game, a netball team very rarely succeeds if one shooter takes most of the shooting load.

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