Quarter of the way through means no more undefeated sides

ROUND FIVE of the 2023 Netball Super League really did have it all – a draw and several teams suffering their first losses of the season. This means that now that the season is a quarter of the way through, there are no longer any undefeated teams.

In the closest match of the round, Leeds almost pulled off its first win of the season, but ultimately could not get over the line against the Strathclyde Sirens with the sides drawing 52 goals each.  

The Rhinos got off to the best start possible, capitalising on some wayward Sirens passing to establish an early lead.

However, it was not too long before the Sirens were able to reel in the lead and draw level pegging again.

The Rhinos then restored their lead, but as the quarter time break drew closer it was the Sirens who took the advantage.  

Throughout the entire but both sides really brought the pressure, particularly in the midcourt as both sides started to rack up the held balls.

As the first quarter drew to a close, it was the Sirens who lead by a mere two goals.

It remained a tight affair in the second quarter as the teams went goal for goal for much of the quarter and the Sirens really could not afford to rest, despite having the lead as the Rhinos tried their hardest to level up the score.

In the final couple minutes of the quarter though, the Sirens were finally able to give themselves a little bit more breathing room as they were able to extend their lead out to as much as five goals.

The Rhinos pegged it back ever so slightly before the half time siren went, so as the teams went into half time the lead was four goals in favour of the home side.

It was the visitors who got the better start to the third quarter as they got within the goal inside the first five minutes of the term.

However, as much as they tried they could not level things up for much of the quarter.

The final minute of the quarter changed things as the Rhinos levelled things up and then finally took the lead with one last goal on the siren.

Leeds built its lead even further early in the last, but then momentum shifted to the Sirens and they started to build a comeback. They tied things up with a couple of minutes to go, and even into the last 30 seconds left it was unclear how the game would end.

The Rhinos scored a goal with a matter of seconds left, but then the Sirens were able to race it down the other end to slot one last goal through and draw proceedings.

Abigail Robson (22 feeds and an intercept), Claire Maxwell (one feed, three deflections and an intercept) and Abigail Tyrell (one rebound, two deflections and two intercepts) were among the best for the Sirens, while Ellie Bird (38 goals, two rebounds), Vicki Oyesola (six deflections, two intercepts and a rebound) and Caroline O’Hanlon (18 feeds, two deflections and two intercepts) were among the Rhinos’ best.

In other results:

  • Loughborough suffered its first loss of the season, after going down to Manchester by seven goals.

After a tight first quarter, the Thunder extended the lead out to nine goals. The Lightning then reduced the margin to five in the third term, before the Lightning extended it back out to seven in the last term.

Lenize Potgieter (42 goals from 44 attempts) was the focal point in attack, while Natalie Metcalf (23 feeds) and Taylor McKevitt (five deflections, two intercepts) also had good games.

Meanwhile for the Lightning Mary Cholhok (33 goals) had a quieter game for her usual standards, but Fran Williams (three deflections, three intercepts) and Natalie Panagarry (19 feeds, four deflections) both had busy night.

  • Surrey also suffered its first loss of the season, after going down to the London Pulse by five goals.

The Storm actually led at both quarter and half time, before the Pulse put their foot on the gas and turned things around in the third term. A 17 goals to seven third term is what really defined the game, as the Storm went on to win the last quarter by one.

The win was really built off the back of the mid court and defence for London, including stellar games from the likes of Jade Clarke (13 feeds, three deflections) and Halimat Adio (three deflections, one intercept).

Meanwhile Layla Guscoth (eight deflections, four intercepts) starred for the Storm, as did Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (19 goals from 21 attempts, 12 feeds, one deflection).

  • The Severn Stars are continuing to prove how they are a much improved side this season, this time defeating Bath by 17 goals.

The Stars won every quarter, building on their lead continuously as the match progressed.

Sigrid Burger (56 goals) was a star under the ring for the Stars, while Jo Trip (two deflections, four intercepts) and Jessica Shaw (34 feeds) were also among the best for the Stars.

Meanwhile for Bath Jayda Pechova (four intercepts) had another great game, as did Ali Wilshier (15 feeds, two deflections).

  • The Saracens Mavericks recovered from their double disaster of a weekend in Round 4 with a comfortable 14 goal win over Celtic Dragons.

A 17 goal to eight first quarter lead to the Mavericks really set up the win, and the Mavericks kept the foot on the gas and the Dragons were never really in the match despite winning the last term.

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