VNSL Round 13 wrap: Dragons fire to second win

CELTIC Dragons have picked up their second win of the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season after a four-goal upset over Leeds Rhinos yesterday. The first of two straight matchdays at Resorts World Arena saw five consecutive matches contested, and the favourites coming away with the win, other than the Dragons who took home the points and gained some separation on last place on the ladder.

  • Team
  • Loughborough Lightning
  • Surrey Storm

Loughborough Lightning came back from a quarter time deficit and a third term scare to run over the top of a brave Surrey Storm outfit. The Lightning had only lost one game this season coming into the match, but found themselves trailing by four goals at the first break. That momentum swung in the second quarter courtesy of an 18-8 term, before the Storm yet again took control thanks to a surprising 18-9 third quarter. Trailing by three goals at the last change, the second placed side dug deep to score 18-12 and come away with the narrow three-goal victory, 57-54.

Goal keeper Alice Harvey was crucial for the Lightning in the tight win, picking up the Player of the Match award thanks to her four deflections, two intercepts and two turnovers. Ella Clark stood up in the absence of Mary Cholhok by scoring 40 goals at 86.9 per cent accuracy. Hannah Joseph (32 feeds) and Fran Williams (three intercepts, four turnovers, one rebounds and one deflection) were also impressive. For the Storm, Peace Proscovia piled on 47 goals from 51 attempts, with Yasmin Parsons (17 feeds) and Sophia Candappa (12 feeds) busy through midcourt. In defence, Leah Middleton finished with a massive 10 deflections and four turnovers, as well as an intercept.

In today’s Round 14 action, the Loughborough Lightning take on Celtic Dragons, whilst the Surrey Storm take on top of the table Manchester Thunder.

  • Team
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • Cardiff Dragons

In the only real upset of the day, Celtic Dragons came away with their second win of the season, defeating Leeds Rhinos by four goals in the second match. The Dragons trailed by two goals at the first break, but levelled the score at half-time, then trailed by a goal again at the final change. A last quarter flurry of 16 goals to 11 put the Dragons back on top and the winners list again, taking out the match 55-51.

Nia Jones won Player of the Match for her work in wing defence, racking up six deflections and picking up two turnovers throughout the match. Laura Rudland was busy in wing attack with 20 feeds, an intercept and a turnover to get it through to the shooters. Both Georgia Rowe (40 goals from 41 attempts, one rebound and one deflection) and Lefébre Rademan (15 goals from 17 attempts and 10 feeds) were lively. For the Rhinos, Vicki Oyesola (seven deflections, two turnovers and one intercept) and Tuaine Keenan (three deflections, three turnovers and two intercepts) tried hard in defence, whilst Sigrid Burger shot 42 goals from 45 attempts up the other end.

Leeds Rhinos take on a fresh team Bath outfit first up in Sunday’s action, whilst Celtic Dragons lock horns with Loughborough Lightning in a bid to make it back-to-back wins.

  • Team
  • Manchester Thunder
  • Strathclyde Sirens

Top of the table Manchester Thunder stormed to a comprehensive 22-goal victory over Strathclyde Sirens, largely due to the work put in place in the first half. The Thunder piled on 21 goals to 11 by quarter time, and had churned out 40 goals to 19 by the main break in what looked like it could be on pace for a record win. Luckily for the Scottish side, the Sirens hit back to only lose the second half by one goal – and actually win the fourth quarter 20-18 – but the Thunder still came away with the 73-51 victory.

Though the Thunder were stacked with stars, it was youngster Yasmin Roebuck – just three days out from her 20th birthday – who took home the Player of the Match award, amassing six feeds to go with three deflections, two intercepts and four turnovers playing at wing defence. Joyce Mvula (33 goals from 33 attempts) and Eleanor Cardwell (30 goals at 100 per cent efficiency) did their thing, whilst Shadine Van der Merwe (two intercepts, three deflections, three rebounds and six turnovers was incredible in defence. Bethan Goodwin (24 goals from 26 attempts) lead the way for the Sirens in shooting, with Towera Vinkhumbo (four intercepts, three deflections and six turnovers) and Emily Nicholl (three intercepts, three deflections and four turnovers) tried hard in defence.

Manchester Thunder take on Surrey Storm in Round 14, with Strathclyde Sirens having a bye.

  • Team
  • Wasps Netball
  • London Pulse

Despite being brave, Wasps Netball were unable to overcome a determined London Pulse outfit, who recorded a six-goal victory in the fourth match of the day. The third placed Pulse have just slipped in recent weeks, and though not a dominant win, were able to get back on track with the three points. The Pulse lead by a goal at quarter time and three at the main break and last chance. Though Wasps had their chances, the Pulse finished strong to not lose a quarter, and run out 44-38 victors.

Midcourter Ashleigh Dekker earned Player of the Match honours for her five feeds, one intercept, one deflection and one turnover, but critically only three penalties and no unforced errors. She was important in the linkup for Sacha McDonald (eight goals from nine attempts, 16 feeds, one intercept and one turnover) and Olivia Tchine (33 goals from 34 attempts). Up the other end, Lindsay Keable and Jasmin Odeogberin combined for nine deflections and six turnovers. Iona Christian worked hard in wing attack for 22 feeds and a deflection, with Josie Huckle (five intercepts, three deflections and seven turnovers) a standout in the defensive circle. Gezelle Allison worked hard both ways to score 12 goals from 16 attempts, and pick up two deflections, one turnover and one rebound.

Wasps Netball take on Severn Stars in the final game of Round 14 today, whilst London Pulse lock horns with Saracens Mavericks the game before.

  • Team
  • Saracens Mavericks
  • Severn Stars

Concluding the first of two days at Resorts World Arena as well as Round 13, Saracens Mavericks made it 12 consecutive losses for the Severn Stars. The Mavericks were in complete control early, racing out to a five-goal lead at quarter time, and a 12-goal advantage by the main break. They built on that lead for the third term with 15 goals to 13, before both sides managed 12 goals apiece in the final stanza. By the last whistle, the Mavericks were in front 58-44 to secure the 14-goal win.

Jodie Gibson was absolutely ridiculous out on court, clearly the standout player of not only the match, but the round itself. The goal defence hauled in seven intercepts, five deflections and nine turnovers without an unforced error to comfortably win the Player of the Match award. Her partner-in-crime Razia Quashie also stood tall in defence with three turnovers, two intercepts and one deflection, whilst Kadeen Corbin shot 15 goals from 18 attempts, had 19 feeds, one rebounds, one intercept, two deflections and one turnover. Her sister Sasha managed the 15 feeds, two turnovers, one intercept and one deflection. Cathrine Tuivaiti still shot at 100 per cent efficiency for the Stars from her 16 attempts, whilst Paige Reed managed the 16 goals from 19 attempts. Meanwhile Lucy Herdman forced her opponents to make plenty of mistakes with four intercepts, two deflections, two intercepts and seven turnovers.

Saracens Mavericks take on London Pulse in a massive Round 14 clash today, whilst Seven Stars lock horns with Wasps Netball in the final contest of the day.

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