Strong Pulse drain Bath in NSL Round 2 action

ROUND 2 of the 2023 NSL season had it all, and showed that Round 1’s results might not tell the full story about how the season is going to go. In the first Friday night match of the season it was London Pulse who kept their undefeated start to the season alive with a 72-42 win over Team Bath.

Despite a much better showing from Bath than they had been a week prior, the Pulse were far too strong, winning easily. It was Bath who were the first to pinch a goal off the opposition centre thanks to a great intercept from Kadeen Corbin, and they were able to consolidate it next centre pass to cement a lead.

Bath were playing assertively in the opening few minutes of the match, but this was causing them to give away contact penalties, and as such the Pulse were able to level proceedings back up again. Although it was an even affair for much of the middle part of the quarter, London began to build some momentum and a lead to go with it. As such, the Londoners held a six-goal lead at the opening break. 

Pulse maintained their scoreboard pressure to begin the second quarter, and even grew their lead in the opening minutes of the term. The Bath defensive pressure was at times high, but the problem was they just could not make it count on the scoreboard.

London’s lead was out to double figures quicker than Jade Clarke was dancing down the court, with the Pulse really putting their foot down. Bath just could not make the most of their rare scoring opportunities as London were. The London lead just kept growing with their intercept game growing in strength, and as such the lead at the main break was 18 goals in favour of the Pulse.  

Bath came out in the second half with some defensive assertion, and as such had the better start to the third quarter. The Pulse then kicked back into gear and stopped Bath’s run. Berri Neil had come on for the Pulse at goal attack and proved to be a lively difference, while Funmi Fadoju was really to find her groove and show her athleticism that she is renowned for.

Sophie Kelly was trying to keep Bath in the game with her long bomb goals, but London still had a stranglehold on the game. Bath ultimately scored only nine goals for the quarter as the Pulse lead had ballooned out to 26 goals at the final change.  

Although Bath upped their scoring in the final quarter, the damage was already done and the Pulse ran away with the 30-goal win. Olivia Tchine was an absolute star all game, ultimately finishing with 44 goals, far outscoring anyone else on the court.  

In other results:

  • Saracens Mavericks bounced back from their shocking opening weekend loss with a five-goal win over Leeds Rhinos.

It was a tight affair all game with the lead at each break no more than a handful of goals, but the Mavericks held on to get on the board this season.

Ine-Mari Venter was in fine form under the ring for the Mavericks (43 goals), while Lisa Mather (32 feeds) and Jodie Gibson (three deflections, two intercepts) were also busy.

Meanwhile for the Rhinos, Michelle Magee (four deflections and an intercept) was busy in defence, as was Elle McDonald (23 feeds, one intercept and one deflection) through midcourt.

  • For the first time in over a year, Manchester Thunder have had a loss, this time going down to Surrey Storm by seven goals.

Surrey Storm’s intent was there from the get go, and despite Manchester winning the third quarter it was not enough as Surrey took home the confidence boosting win.

The Storm defenders were spectacular in the win, namely Amy Flanagan (six deflections and an intercept), Layla Guscoth (10 deflections, three intercepts) and Leah Middleton (six deflections, three intercepts). Meanwhile Shadine Van der Merwe (nine deflections, two intercepts) was just as busy for the Thunder, while Lenize Potgieter (32 goals) stood firm under the ring.

  • Loughborough Lightning have picked up their second win from as many matches, beating Celtic by 14 goals.

Despite the Dragons coming back strong in the final quarter, a bad second and third quarter really let them down as the Lightning bolted away with the win.

Mary Cholhok (43 goals) was instrumental again for the Lightning, while Alice Harvey (four rebounds, five deflections and two intercepts) also had a great game. Meanwhile for the Dragons Shaquanda Greene-Noel (two rebounds, five intercepts and four deflections) stood tall despite the result.

  • Strathclyde Sirens are on the board in 2023 after they downed Severn by nine goals.

Severn Stars won the first quarter, but Strathclyde Sirens really brought it home strong to take the win. Bethany Dix (22 feeds) had a strong game through midcourt for the Sirens, as did Bethan Goodwin (29 goals) under the ring.

Meanwhile Sigrid Burger (42 goals) outscored everyone on court, but was left to do much of the scoring one handed. Jessica Shaw (14 feeds) was busy through midcourt for the Stars.

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