Thunder breaks through the Storm as Lightning strikes
THOUGH the three favourites got the job done, there was little doubt about the incredible netball on display in the first match at Belle Vue. Manchester Thunder won in a whopping 144-goal thriller (76-68) over Surrey Storm, whilst Loughborough Lightning and Wasps Netball secured wins over Celtic Dragons and Severn Stars respectively. Here are how the three games went down across the three separate venues.
After two thumping wins in Round 1, the Manchester Thunder – minus goal keeper Kerry Almond – had their biggest challenge for their season thus far. In an absolute goal bonanza, the Thunder lead by five goals at quarter time, before Surrey Storm hit back with a five-goal difference in the second term to level the scores at half-time. Once again taking the advantage, the Thunder took control after half-time to pile on 42 goals to the Storm’s 34 in an attacking display, to get the job done and take home the points in a 76-68 win.
Eleanor Cardwell won the Player of the Match award with 26 goals from 30 attempts, and also producing 19 feeds. Cardwell’s partner-in-crime Joyce Mvula notched up the half century with 50 goals in 56 attempts, but pulled down a massive seven rebounds and an intercept. Natalie Metcalf made her season debut for the Thunder with a 26-feed and one-intercept performance, whilst Millie Sanders slotted into goal keeper perfectly with four turnovers, two intercepts, one deflection and two rebounds.
Peace Proscovia did all the heavy lifting for the Storm taking full advantage against a less-experienced defender, shooting 62 goals from 63 attempts. Yasmin Parsons produced 19 feeds and an intercept at wing attack, whilst Leah Middleton was again eye-catching in defence. The goal defender notched up four turnovers, three deflections, one intercept and one rebound in the defeat.
Loughborough Lightning continued their premiership defence with a comprehensive 28-goal win over Celtic Dragons. A 39 goals to 18 first half all but ended the game at the main break, dominating in both quarters to build the big lead. Though the Dragons tightened up in second half, the Lightning still managed to put together a four-quarter performance with 26 goals to 19 to win 65-37.
Alice Harvey earned Player of the Match honours at goal keeper, picking up three intercepts, two rebounds and five turnovers for her troubles, really standing up alongside the experienced Fran Williams in that defensive Lightning goal circle. Mary Cholhok put up 38 goals from 46 attempts, working well with Ella Clark (18 from 21), while Emma Thacker came on to shoot nine from 11 in her time on the court. Hannah Joseph was also productive in midcourt with a game-high 21 feeds (only three less than the entire Dragons outfit).
Georgia Rowe was reliable at the post with 20 goals from 21 attempts, as Lefébre Rademan (16 from 24) might not have been as accurate, but managed a team-high eight feeds. It was the work of defensive duo Annabel Roddy and Shaquanda Greene-Noel up the other end that caught the eye, combining for 10 turnovers, six intercepts, four rebounds and two deflections, with Roddy really doing well against her former side.
A dominant middle two quarters has set up Wasps Netball’s first victory of the 2022 VNSL season, defeating Severn Stars by nine goals at CBS Arena. The Stars lead by two goals at the first change before the Wasps kicked into gear with a 13-9 second term to reverse the first break difference at half-time. They continued with an impressive 19-12 third term to open up a nine-goal advantage heading into the last quarter, and whilst both teams scored 12 goals in the final term, the Wasps’ lead proved crucial in the 54-45 win.
Ella Powell-Davies was strong at goal defence, with team-highs in deflections (eight), turnovers (four) and intercepts (four) as well as a rebound. Up the other end, Rachel Dunn fired off 40 goals from 41 attempts in a dominant performance under the post, whilst Lucy Parize managed 14 goals from 20 attempts, and had 16 feeds and an intercept. New Scottish international Iona Christian helped herself to a game-high 23 feeds in the win.
For the Stars, Liana Leota had 20 feeds through wing attack, as Severn went with a three-pronged attack. Issy Eaton (17 goals from 18 attempts), Paige Reed (15 from 19) and Katie Harris (13 from 16) all hit double-figure goals. Lucy Herdman and Summer Artman also combined for seven turnovers, five intercepts, three deflections and two intercepts in defence despite the loss.